Drivers given lesson by school children

SCHOOLCHILDREN in Essex have been sending out a stark warning to motorists in a bid to make them cut their speed.

Elliot Furniss

SCHOOLCHILDREN in Essex have been sending out a stark warning to motorists in a bid to make them cut their speed.

Eleven-year-old Chris Marshall was one of a group of youngsters taking part in a joint initiative organised by Essex Police and Essex County Council.

The primary school pupil told one speeding driver “you could have killed me” after he was pulled over and given the chance for a face to face chat, rather than face a fine.

Police officers from the Mobile Support Division joined the council's area highways manager in the event outside St George's Church of England Primary School in Great Bromley.

Officers used a hand held laser speed gun and stopped 16 speeding vehicles during the session.

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Offending drivers were then given the choice of receiving a �60 fixed penalty notice or spending a few minutes talking with the schoolchildren and hearing their thoughts on cars that speed past their school.

Four drivers were given fixed penalty notices and the rest chose to speak to the children.

Lorraine Morgan, area highways manager, said: “The day was about educating people about the dangers of speeding.

“Many of the drivers we have spoken to come away with tears in their eyes: it can be quite upsetting to think that your driving could have resulted in the death or serious injury of one of the kids sitting in front of you.

“This is the first time something like this has been done in the Colchester area but we're now looking at planning similar events in the future because this one has been so successful.”

Chris said he hoped the driver would change his habits after being given the warning.

“I told him he could have killed me because that's exactly what he could have done,” he said.

Fellow pupil Shannon Carey, 10, added: “It's terrible that people can go over 30mph past our school. They might think they have an excuse because they have to get somewhere fast but there's no reason to go fast at all.

Pc Tina Clothier said the force's rural areas suffered far more with speeding drivers than the towns because there was so much less congestion.

She said: “However, we are determined to change these drivers' habits and hope that, by spending a few minutes hearing what local children have to say, the drivers we saw today will realise the consequences of going over the speed limit.”