Sheringham Primary School pupils lie in road for hard-hitting safety campaign message to parents

PUBLISHED: 13:25 17 December 2012 | UPDATED: 14:36 17 December 2012

Sheringham Primary School pupils lie in the road to model for a poster campaign against illegal parking at the school.

Sheringham Primary School pupils lie in the road to model for a poster campaign against illegal parking at the school. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2012

Hard-hitting images of children lying in the road are being used in a campaign aimed at persuading parents not to pull up outside a north Norfolk primary school.

Police and pupils worked together this morning to create a shocking banner which will be hung on the gate of Sheringham Primary School next term as a plea to motorists.

The children lay along the yellow zig-zag lines outside the school entrance for the photo, and a banner slogan is also planned. The exact wording has yet to be decided but it is expected to say something like: “Would you still stop on the zig-zags if they were children instead of lines?”

PC Ian Smith, beat manager with Sheringham Safer Neighbourhood Team, said the idea was specifically aimed at Sheringham primary but any other Norfolk schools would be welcome to use the banner too if they thought it would help.

Traffic problems were a cause of concern outside every school in Norfolk but they were particularly acute at Sheringham, the county’s largest primary with more than 600 pupils, said PC Smith.

It was situated at the cul-de-sac end of residential Cooper Road and at the beginning and end of the school day there was traffic chaos.

Senior teacher Tim Groves said the arrival of two coaches, a couple of minibuses, taxis, 100-plus parents’ cars, residents’ vehicles, and students from the nearby high school using a footpath into Cooper Road, all added to the potentially-lethal mix which was especially bad at 3.15pm when everyone left the school at the same time.

“No-one’s been hurt yet but there have been some very near misses,” said Mr Groves.

PC Smith hopes the powerful poster will have more impact on mums and dads than police wearing high-visibility jackets and directing traffic.

He said: “Of course, children’s safety is parents’ first priority but we want to make them realise that they are both the problem and the solution here.

“I’m a parent too and I know what a rush it is to get to work or an appointment, but children don’t have the same awareness of speed and what’s going on around them as adults and they are at risk.

“I never want to have to come up to the school because a child has been injured by a vehicle. All the community needs to play its part in protecting them.”

Any motorist ignoring the campaign’s message can expect to find that they are out of pocket by up to £70.

Members of the Norfolk Parking Partnership will be patrolling the school entrance in the new year issuing tickets to anyone who illegally stops a vehicle on the school entrance markings between 8am and 4pm. PC Smith said in future there would be zero tolerance of infringements.

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