Children's plea to drivers after lollipop man's close call

A lollipop man's close call with a car has prompted children to launch their own road safety campaign.
Billingshurst Primary School road safety campaign. Picture Alan Wright PhotographyBillingshurst Primary School road safety campaign. Picture Alan Wright Photography
Billingshurst Primary School road safety campaign. Picture Alan Wright Photography

Youngsters at Billingshurst Primary have created banners and posters urging motorists to “drive and park as if the police are watching” after voicing their fears about traffic near their school.Headteacher Helen Williamson said a survey of the children revealed “illegal, inconsiderate and dangerous driving” had left them concerned for their own safety and that of their popular crossing patrol man, John Gooderham.They were worried about having to cross the road from behind badly parked cars and having to walk into the road when cars blocked the pavement.Some cars were even seen driving through the crossing patrol rather than giving way to John and his lollipop.Helen said: “The children decided to take this on as something they could make a big difference to – which is just as well as I had not been able to persuade drivers to be more considerate in my seven years of trying!”The campaign was launched with the help of local residents, who have endured poor parking, litter and loud music during dropping off and picking up times. Word even reached the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, who rated Billingshurst Primary ‘highly commended’ in the Speaker’s School Council Awards. Ella Costelloe and Ryan Cooper, of the School Council, said: “We were worried about our lollipop man as he nearly got run over and many of us don’t feel safe around all the cars. “We stood up in assembly and asked everyone to design a poster and a campaign slogan for the banner. School councillors from Key Stage 1 and 2 selected each other’s winner. We hope it will help the parents to think about our safety. They should listen to us because we’re schoolchildren.”The winning poster designs were created by Henry Wilmington, of Key Stage 1, and Connor Jenkins and Josh Davies, of Key Stage 2. The banners were sponsored by Auto Sussex.Helen said: “Our priority is the safety of our pupils and consideration of our local residents who struggle with this on a daily basis, and it is our hope that the message will have more impact and power to persuade as it comes directly from the children.”

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