Archbishop Wake Primary School in Blandford joins police for speed crackdown

Dorset Echo: Chris Durham, deputy community speed watch co-ordinator, with students using speed guns and Police Community Support Officer Mike Sinnick Chris Durham, deputy community speed watch co-ordinator, with students using speed guns and Police Community Support Officer Mike Sinnick

SCHOOLCHILDREN teamed up with the police to tackle a speeding hotspot.

Students from Archbishop Wake Primary School in Blandford accompanied police officers from Blandford Safer Neighbourhood Team and the newly-formed Community Speed Watch team to tackle bad driving outside their school in Black Lane.

The road had been identified as a speeding hotspot earlier this year after more than 100 cars were recorded travelling over the 30 mile per hour limit in just one day.

Dorset Police, Blandford Town Council, Blandford Community Speed Watch Team and students and staff from the school took part in the joint initiative called Operation Black Lane. The aim was to focus on Dorset Police’s ‘fatal four’ – types of driving behaviour that officers say are known to result in fatal and serious injury collisions.

Motorists travelling along Black Lane were targeted if they were suspected of committing any of the ‘fatal four’ – speeding, drink or drug driving, using a hand-held mobile phone while driving or failing to wear a seatbelt. Random checks were also carried out.

In total 15 vehicles were stopped for minor traffic offences and issued with words of advice. Nine of these drivers were breath tested and all were negative.

Police Community Support Officer Mike Sinnick, of Blandford Town Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This operation was designed to be a joint partnership approach to road safety aimed at educating drivers. I think the event was a great success and the views of the students given to drivers stopped had a positive impact which was well received and greatly appreciated.”

Jo Hicks, the school’s headteacher, said: “I thought it was a really worthwhile experience for the children.

“They were able to tell drivers how worried they felt about speeding in Black Lane and hearing this from children had a real impact. The drivers were all asked to tell their families, friends and colleagues about their experience and I’m sure the children would have gone home and told their parents too.

“It is only working together as a community that will make a real difference on issues like this.”

Schoolchildren said the day had been very interesting.

One pupil said: “I hope it makes people slow down when they drive past the school.”

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