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Community Education South Armagh

Speeding Drivers in Newtownhamilton Face Kids Court at St. Michaels Primary School

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

Motorists apprehended for speeding outside of St. Michaels Primary School, Newtownhamilton faced a ‘Kid’s 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, fourteen speeding drivers attended the Kid’s 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.

On the day, Newry, Mourne and Down PCSP were also able to provide all Primary 6 and 7 pupils at St. Michaels with Hi-visibility vests and Hi-visibility bags which will help keep pupils visible in the dark mornings and evenings as they travel to and from school.

Councillor Alan Lewis, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) congratulated St. Michaels Primary school Newtownhamilton and said, “The children at this school have been able to educate drivers who have exceeded the speed restriction outside their school, as to the potential of what could have happened. This has personalised the message to those drivers that have agreed to meet with the pupils. For PCSP, the goal of the Kids Court project is to change driver behaviour through this experience of personally meeting with the pupils.

Councillor Lewis continued, “We as a PCSP need to keep taking proactive measures such as this, to prevent unnecessary fatalities and injuries on our roads. Working in partnership with our local schools and young people is a very effective way to promote important road safety messages.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has been working alongside the school’s staff to educate the pupils about road safety. St. Michaels Primary School principal Cathal Murphy said, “St Michael’s PS were delighted to be involved in such an innovative initiative to reduce speeding outside our school. We are shocked at the number of people caught during such a small-time frame and disappointed to learn of some of their speeds. We appeal for all road users to reduce their speeds especially passing any school. Thanks to PSNI and PCSP for their engagement and we look forward to a second Kid’s Court session later in the year.”

Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership support 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 email at pcsp@nmandd.org.

ENDS

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