A poem which highlights a number of key safety messages for cyclists has been named winner of the Safer Essex Roads Partnership’s (SERP) school road safety poetry competition.
Under the school poem competition – which formed part of Project EDWARD 2017 activities in Essex – SERP invited schools to submit the best poem written by one of their pupils, with entries restricted to one from each school.
Poems could be in any form but had to be a maximum of 200 words and relate to road safety.
The winning poem was written by Maria Azzi, a Year 6 pupil from St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School in Grays.
Maria’s poem, titled ‘I Love to Ride’ (featured at the foot of this story), highlights a number of key safety messages for cyclists including taking extra caution when the ground is wet and remaining observant at times. It also highlights the importance of wearing a helmet.
The competition was one of two organised by SERP as part of Project EDWARD 2017 – the other was open to all employees of Essex Highways, which comprises Essex County Council and Ringway Jacobs, as well as SERP members and partners.
The in-house competition was won by Eric Ovel, a maintenance technician at Essex County Council, and Jackie Roerig, a permitting officer at Ringway Jacobs, for their drink-drive related poem ‘I Wish’.
Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death) 2017 took place on 21 September and looked to encourage drivers, riders and pedestrians to spare an extra thought for their safety.
Conceived by TISPOL – the European Traffic Police Network – in 2016, the long-term aim is to use Project EDWARD to spearhead significant and sustained reduction in death and serious injury on roads across the world.
Maria’s winning poem – ‘I love to ride’
Spinning wheels, flashing lights
Shapes of cars, I’m whizzing by
As I turn the corner, I quickly observe
A cat jumps in my path, I’m forced to swerve.
Tempted to speed up, I’m homeward bound
I see a splatter of raindrops hit the ground
And I remember the road is wet
Going fast could be a threat.
So I slow down as I approach the bend
My bike judders, I feel myself ascend
On the floor I land with a crash
With my helmet securely on, I don’t feel a bash.
I smile to myself as I get off the floor
Mum always told me to make sure
I wear my helmet when I ride
And when I’m on the road, stay to the side.
Riding my bike is one of my favourite things
But road safety is very important, you don’t want to end up in slings
So it’s cool to follow Edward’s Rule,
And get yourself safely to school!