Road Safety News
 

Don't mess with the mini police officers

Thursday 11th November 2010

Children in Bradford dressed as mini police officers are issuing ‘parking tickets’ to parents in a bid to raise awareness of road safety around schools.

Pupils from two primary schools are issuing the fake parking tickets to parents who commit offences such as stopping or dropping off on yellow zig-zag lines, not wearing seatbelts, mobile phone use and driving or parking on the pavement.

Bradford’s road safety team is working in partnership with West Yorkshire Police to highlight these dangers and warn parents.

Councillor Ghazanfer Khaliq, Bradford Council, said: "There is a problem all over the country of parents driving and parking illegally around schools.

“This is a light-hearted way to engage with the local community and inform parents of the dangers and help them realise that everyone has a part to play in keeping children safe."

Sergeant Andy Barron added: “We recognise that protecting school children from the dangers of the road does not fall on drivers alone.

"By working closely with Bradford's road safety team we hope to engage with parents who drive to school and those who regularly walk.”

Click here to read the full report.

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I think this is a great project. Getting the children involved will help to embed in their brains the dangers that their elders presently ignore, making for a future generation of safer drivers. It will also cause great embarrassment to those receiving the tickets which is a very good way to re-educate them. If talking and reading books made for society to obey the law then we wouldn't need to find new ways to up hold it. Well done and keep up the good work.
Clare Brixey Somerset

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Sergeant Barron makes valid comments in the report, as does Councillor Khaliq, and West Yorkshire's District Manager Steve Richings program - sounds like he has an effective demonstration available.

When as a child myself, I remember clearly the positive effect a visit from the Local Police - complete with Wolseley Police car with bell and an additional very shakey bicycle ridden equally shakily by one of the officers had when demonstrating in the school playground the correct, and incorrect ways of signalling and general road behaviour prior to taking a Cycling Proficiency test. It was instructive - and fun, and not a Hi-viz jacket in sight - nor tickets. Communication was purely verbal.

However, the dressing up of children in pseudo uniforms, and the issuing of fake tickets smacks of a level of indoctrination into acceptable persecution against friends and family. This 'gentle humour', a little 'fun' in dressing up and acting, is an avenue which is most likely to change any individuals frame of mind - amongst the young even more so. Which way do we want to change the minds of our children? To become the agents of authority, persecution and retribution on our fellow citizens, or to embrace all with a sense of fair play? We would naturally wish to make them aware of the dangers of the roads, as we wish to make parents and others aware of the dangers of stopping and causing obstructions outside schools - even briefly, though in many instances there may be no alternatives, location is everything.

This seemingly light hearted scenario is not one I personally would wish expanded. Far better to use literature in a parents glossy brochure, such as might be in the resources box, though no details of same are given.

This 'play acting' of authority is not a good idea, it leads to an acceptance of persecution, antipathy amongst community and family, and ultimately aids the strengthening of the Police State. The message I hear is "Don't mess with the Police State".
Derek Reynolds, St Albans

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...and there's me thinking it was illegal to impersonate a police officer.

Looks as thought the zigzags could do with refreshing.

Just shows what use barriers are when children can get roadside.

Every county should have dedicated traffic wardens to patrol school locations and issue tickets, word will soon get around.
Terry Dodman at Suffolk C.C. Highway Safety Engineering Team

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