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Community South Down

Speeding Drivers face Kids’ Court at Kilkeel Primary School

Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) held a ‘Kids’ Court’ at St. Columban’s Primary School in Kilkeel recently, to help reduce speeding issues on the Newcastle Road outside the local primary school.

Motorists apprehended for speeding outside St. Columban’s Primary School, Kilkeel faced a ‘Kids’ Court’ panel of P7 pupils to explain why they had broken the 30mph speed limit as they passed the school. Motorists who did not want to participate in the initiative had to pay the usual speeding fine and accept penalty points on their driving licences.

In total, eight speeding drivers attended the Kids’ Court and faced questions from the P7 children about their road safety knowledge, before receiving a lesson from the young judges on the dangers of speeding.

Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) Chairperson, Councillor Alan Lewis, congratulated St. Columban’s Primary school on successfully delivering the road safety initiative for the second time and highlighted the importance of holding a ‘Kids’ Court’ on the Newcastle Road. Councillor Lewis said, “As children may be playing near this road, or crossing it to and from school, we as a PCSP felt it was important to make speeding drivers aware of how dangerous it is to exceed the 30mph speed limit on this road. Facing the ‘Kids’ Court’ panel of P7 children really makes motorists think about their speed and the dangers speeding can cause. This is what makes the PCSP Kids’ Court such a powerful experience.”

PSNI Road Education Officer, Constable Ciara Cassells said, “The goal of the Kids’ Court project is to change driver behaviour through the experience of personally meeting with the P7 pupils. Those children who have taken part in the Kids’ Court have been able to educate drivers that have exceeded the speed restriction outside their school, by highlighting the dangers to them that speeding outside a primary school could cause. Everyone involved will have taken something away from this road safety initiative, especially those motorists who were speeding.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has been working alongside the school’s staff to educate the pupils on road safety. St. Columban’s Primary School principal, Julian Kelly said, “The Kids’ Court has been a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to learn more about road safety and it was great to welcome back the PCSP and PSNI to co-ordinate a second Kids’ Court within our school. In 2019, our first Kids’Court was a great success, and the P7 children were able to educate themselves, and speeding drivers, on issues of road safety.”

Ms Kelly continued, “Holding the Kids Court again in October 2021 has allowed our new P7 pupils to learn more about road safety and help promote awareness around the dangers of speeding to those drivers who were detected outside the school.”

Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership supports a range of activities aimed at improving local road safety across local communities. For further information please contact the PCSP Office on 028 30 313078 or by e-mail at pcsp@nmandd.org.

ENDS

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