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Smiley-faced mini speed watchers

Ron Hogg with school stop sign

School kids from Tow Law will be using smiley and sad faced paddles to critique drivers on the speed they are travelling, during an event organised by the local police beat team this Wednesday (26 November).

The idea came about after consistent local complaints about speeding drivers through the centre of the village made the issue a police and communities together (PACT) priority.

PCSO Emma Donnelly, from the Weardale neighbourhood policing team, explains: “There has been an ongoing problem with speeding vehicles in Tow Law, in particular along the High Street where the limit is 30 miles per hour.

“Clearly this is a significant concern for parents and the nearby schools when considering the road safety of their children.

“We have worked together with Tow Law Millennium Primary School to arrange an event which has been designed to tackle the issue with speeders in the village but also give some very important road safety messages to the children from the school.

“We will be taking a small group of school children along with us to assist us with our speed watch operation. They will be helping out by holding up smiley or sad faced signs depending on the speed at which the vehicles pass by. Those who pass us travelling above 30mph will then receive a warning letter in the post, along with some police advice about their skills on the road.”

Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg said: “A key priority for me is to improve road safety and tackle dangerous driving, in particular those people who travel too quickly on our roads.

“When the neighbourhood team in Weardale contacted me to let me know about this scheme I was delighted with their efforts. It’s a fabulous idea and I hope that involving the children in the action that we are taking will really strike a chord with the drivers and help us to alter their behaviour.”

Lisa Jackson, Headteacher of Tow Law Millennium Primary School, said: "We are very happy to be part of this community speed watch event.

"At Tow Law Millennium Primary School we take the safety of our children very seriously and this includes their journey to and from school.

"Since we lost our school crossing patrol we have tried to look at ways to help the children to cross the busy A68 safely as well as encouraging drivers to drive more responsibly through the town. We hope the event raises the profile of this cause and look forward to playing our part."
Posted on Tuesday 25th November 2014
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