Pupils in Croydon are cracking down on dangerous driving in their communities, through a new scheme which involves taking motorists to task for speeding.
The Junior Road Watch programme sees small groups of schoolchildren work with road safety officers and police officers to educate motorists on the importance of road safety, particularly outside schools.
The pupils monitor speeds using safety equipment and speed cameras. If a motorist is caught driving at an excessive speed, the police run checks to make sure there are no other issues with the vehicle or driver.
Road safety officers then provide the offender with a choice: receive a fine and three penalty points on their licence – or talk to the pupils.
The 10 and 11-year-olds ask the drivers if they realise the consequences of speeding, as well as other questions to highlight the dangers associated with the offence.
Cllr Stuart King, cabinet lead for environment and transport, said: “The Junior Road Watch scheme can have real benefits, discouraging motorists from speeding while teaching them and the children important lessons about road safety.
“Working with school children and the police, we’re able to make a real difference by explaining the human impact speeding can have on communities.”
The first session took place in July, involving pupils from Winterbourne Boys’ Academy in Thornton Heath.
Over the two days, 28 drivers were stopped for speeding and all of them chose to speak to the children instead of other enforcement activity.
Kaleem Warren, a Year 5 student at Winterbourne Boys’ Academy, said: “We’re here to tell people about road safety and to help to keep local school children safe.
“If you speed you could knock someone over or crash and then you’re putting two people in danger.”
Croydon Council will be talking to schools across the borough over the next academic year to see if they would like to take part in the scheme.