Children in Denton have donned hi-viz vests to become “Junior PCSOs” and warn motorists about the dangers of inconsiderate parking outside their school.
Russell Scott Primary School pupils, supported by Tameside Council parking enforcement officers, Greater Manchester Police officers and school staff, handed out information leaflets to drivers asking them to park responsibly.
It’s part of the Denton school’s ongoing campaign, to tackle problems on neighbouring streets.
A small number of parents have been causing issues by parking across entrances, on footways and on ‘keep clear’ markings, which obstruct crossing points and reduces visibility. Some even park with their engines running, causing an environmental hazard.
The latest initiative has been developed and instigated by the school following a series of meetings with parents concerned about the safety of their children.
Head Teacher Steve Marsland has already written to parents and patrolled outside the school in an attempt to alleviate issues.
“Children’s safety is every school’s priority and road safety and inconsiderate parking is a problem for most of us,” he said.
“The Junior PCSO scheme we have initiated, is giving the children a strong voice and allowing them to take responsibility within their community using their work on pollution and road safety, to challenge the mums and dads to be more considerate during the school run and where possible, encourage them to walk to school. If it has the positive outcomes that we believe it will the scheme could be rolled out by schools across Tameside.”
Assemblies have also taught pupils how to stay safe on the road, the importance of responsible parking and having regard to pedestrians and other road users.
The aim of the initiative is to make drivers think and act responsibly, with enforcement only being used as a last resort. It’s hoped that children handing out warnings, in the style of parking tickets, will shame persistent offenders into changing their behaviour.
Russell Scott is continuing with the scheme over the next few weeks and GMP will issue enforcement notices if problems persist. The effectiveness of the initiative will be reviewed after May half term.