Yaxham speed safety campaign kick-starts national drive for new law
11:17 10 May 2014
© Archant Norfolk 2014
A village road safety campaign has kick-started a nationwide drive for a change in the law of speed limits outside schools.
Yaxham’s 20’s Plenty campaign, which was reignited earlier this year, has won the backing of Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman and national road safety charity Brake.
Parents of pupils at Yaxham Primary School have said they drive the few hundred yards from their house to the school as they are too worried about their children’s safety. They have also reported near-misses when their sons or daughters have walked from one side of the road to the other.
Now, Mr Freeman has said he will use Yaxham as an example when he campaigns for a new nationwide law to make 20mph speed limits compulsory outside all schools at drop-off and pick-up times.
“As with so many rural Norfolk villages, we have a real problem in Yaxham with increasing volume and speed of traffic,” said Mr Freeman, who visited Yaxham Primary School yesterday.
“All the evidence shows the difference between 20mph and 30mph is enormous in terms of braking speed and the potential injury from an accident.
“I think people up and down the country would understand and support that very simple new law and it will save millions of pounds compared to every county council having speed lowering measures outside schools – hopefully it will be known as the Yaxham law.”
During Mr Freeman’s visit, he heard how the school was starting a new “walking bus” where parents will be encouraged to drop their children off at Yaxham Village Hall and for all of them to walk under supervision in hi-viz jackets to the school.
He also judged a poster competition where the children had designed their own 20’s Plenty signs. The winners were Poppi Sexton, six, Charlie Moore, nine, and George Snelling, five.
Members of the parish council and neighbourhood policing team also attended.
Mark Ward, assistant headteacher, said: “A sudden death or a serious injury would traumatise us all. We all need to act now before it’s too late, regardless of economic cost, before an innocent child pays the ultimate price.”
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