‘Kids’ court’ marks start of Birmingham’s 20mph initiative
Drivers caught breaking the new 20mph speed limit outside a school in Birmingham have appeared in front of a ‘kids’ court’, rather than being issued with a fine and penalty points.
16 drivers opted to face the panel of pupils from Montgomery Primary in Sparkhill, under an initiative which has been praised by West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council.
Council officers commended the pupils involved in the event and said the exercise sent a far more powerful message than fines or penalty points.
Cllr Stewart Stacey, cabinet member for transport and roads at Birmingham City Council, told the Birmingham Mail: “They choose kids’ court over a fine or points because they thought it was a soft option. But it was definitely not.
“The children did very well – they talked about their area, their school friends and their brothers and sisters whose lives are put at risk by speeding.”
The initiative marked the introduction of 20mph speed limits across large parts of Birmingham. The limits came into force on 10 October, although signs and road markings have been in place in these areas since the beginning of the year to encourage drivers to slow down.
The council is now warning motorists that they face punishment should they flout the law.
Councillor Stewart Stacey added: “This isn’t about trying to catch people out – it’s about making our roads safer for all who use them, whether they are children or adults and whether they are pedestrians, cyclists or motorists.
“A car travelling at 30mph takes twice as long to stop as a car travelling at 20mph. And if you are hit at 20mph you are a lot less likely to be killed or seriously injured than if you are hit by a car travelling at 30mph. As far as I am concerned, safety is paramount on our city’s roads, so our message is loud and clear: slower is safer.
“And while anyone breaking the speed limit can expect to be pulled over by the police, this campaign is also about educating people about why this 20mph limit is safer. We will be encouraging them to think about their behaviour on the roads and if they have not already done so, to change it for the benefit of all.”
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