WATCH: Ralston primary pupils tackle careless driving

Pupils at Ralston Primary have created banners in a bid to tackle ‘poor driving’ and ‘selfish parking’ on the roads that surround the school.

The problems are caused by parents who are in a rush to drop off their children, thus choosing not to abide by the voluntary one-way-system.

This has resulted in incidents that put pupils in danger and the head teacher fears that something serious is going to happen if drivers don’t take notice.

To combat these issues, The Parent Council organised a competition, where pupils had to create a poster to deter irresponsible motorists.

Winners: Ryan Harold and Josh Farquhar

P2 Ryan Harold and P5 Josh Farquhar won the competition after designing posters the judging panel agreed were both engaging and artistic. The two winning posters are now featured on the school gate.

It’s hoped their artwork will encourage drivers to slow down.

Carolyn Currie of the Parent Council said: “Many times when I have been crossing over or when we were walking along, people would mount the kerb to get passed.

“There would be times you couldn’t cross the road for maybe five minutes because people would not stop to allow you to cross, they would be more inclined to be going nose to nose with another driver because people are just so determined that they would get to the school first to drop their child off.

“We are trying to encourage children to walk to school, we are trying to encourage children to be on their bikes, but parents don’t want to be doing that if they don’t feel their children would be safe in doing that.

“I definitely do not feel safe allowing my ten-year-old to walk to school from across the road. That’s ridiculous. She’s a sensible girl. She’s not silly, she can cross a road. But it’s the fact that people are mounting kerbs and not taking account of the other people on the road or pedestrians.”

“Our worry is that something really serious is going to happen”

Acting head teacher, Jillian McGown

Acting head teacher, Jillian McGown, said: “We decided that the best thing to do would be to try and inform the parents; try to educate the parents more about parking around the school and about ensuring the safety of our children.

“As part of our health and well being programme, we have a focus on road safety and being safe – educating our children about being safe around the school and walking to school, but we felt it was now time to have a focus on the children helping to educate their parents.

“Parents are all rushing, a lot of our parents are rushing to school, wanting to drop their child off and then rush off to work and that results in the selfish parking. They are not prepared to park a distance away from the school and then walk.

“That’s when some parents are parking on zig-zag lines, parking on kerbs, and just generally being thoughtless.

“I think our worry is that something really serious is going to happen if people don’t start to be more aware.

“It’s not just about parking, it’s about the speed people go at. 20 mph is recommended, but some drivers ignore this.”

Mum-of-two Carolyn added: “I think we felt that the message coming from the children to parents was the best way to go about it after a lot of discussion in the meetings.

Carolyn Currie and Jillian McGown

“It is so clear in my own children’s heads, so that was what we wanted our children in the school to do.

“To encourage their own parents to think about their friends that might be walking to school. Lead by example, that was how we thought would be the best route to go.”

Competition winner Josh, nine, said: “Too many people are now parking in the same lane, like the sports centre. Sometimes in the sports centre there is a bit of pavement that comes out and some people park on there.”

This results in children having to walk round the car to get to school.

Winner Ryan, six,came up with a good idea. He said: “If some cars go into an entrance that they normally go to, and some cars go to the other entrances it would make it not that busy.”

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