Speeding Drivers Face the Kids’ Court at Kilkeel School
Seventeen motorists caught speeding outside a primary school were given the option of avoiding a fine by attending a special court where the judges are children.
The ‘Kids’ Court’ was set up recently at St Columban’s Primary School in Kilkeel and supported by the PSNI and Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).
In front of a panel of P7 pupils, drivers had to explain why they had broken the 30mph speed limit as they passed the school on the Newcastle Road. Police hope meeting the children face-to-face will change drivers' behaviour.
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. However, those who did attend the Kids’ Court got a lesson from the young judges on the dangers of speeding and faced questions from
Newry, Mourne and Down PCSP Chairman, Councillor Terry Hearty, congratulated the school on delivering the road safety initiative for the first time in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area.
“We need to take proactive measures to prevent these unnecessary fatalities and injuries and working with our young people is a very effective way to deliver the road safety message,” said Councillor Hearty.
School principal Julian Kelly said, “The Kids’ Court has been a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to learn more about road safety. The initiative has allowed us to highlight to drivers the vulnerability of our pupils.”
The PSNI has been working alongside the school's staff to educate the pupils about road safety. PSNI Road Education Officer, Constable Ciara Cassells, said the children had 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,” Constable Cassells said. “The goal of the project is to change driver behaviour through this experience of personally meeting with the pupils."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.