Kids help get across speeding message

Town Fields Primary School pupil Barry Coleman, aged 11, who was involved in an accident with a speeding motorist last December in Netherhall Road, is pictured with PCSO Alex Kirk with a speed digital display unit in the road where the incident happened.
Town Fields Primary School pupil Barry Coleman, aged 11, who was involved in an accident with a speeding motorist last December in Netherhall Road, is pictured with PCSO Alex Kirk with a speed digital display unit in the road where the incident happened.
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A YOUNG road accident victim and his school chums have been helping teach Doncaster drivers a lesson on the dangers of speeding.

Barry Coleman, who is now in a wheelchair because of serious injuries he suffered when he was knocked down last year, was one of a team from Town Field Primary School who went on patrol in Nether Hall Road to deter motorists from exceeding the 30mph speed limit.

Using a digital display unit, they checked the speed of 87 vehicles during a two-hour session and only two were found to be slightly over the limit.

Police officers spoke to the drivers and handed out letters specially written by the children.

Barry suffered serious leg injuries and a fractured skull when he was playing near the junction of Nether Hall Road and Christ Church Road last December.

His mother Joanne Mills feared the worst when she was called to the scene of the accident and saw blood all over the road but he pulled through.

However, doctors have told Ms Mills and Barry’s dad Danny Coleman that he will spend the next year in a wheelchair and may walk with a limp for the rest of his life.

A brain scan also showed he had a skull fracture and he now has short-term memory loss and dizzy spells.

Although the driver is not being prosecuted due to lack of evidence, medical experts believe the 11-year-old was hit by a vehicle travelling at more than 40mph.

Ms Mills said: “I hope telling Barry’s story will stop drivers racing about. I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to go through what my family has.”

The Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team co-ordinated the speeding operation with the help of children from Town Fields Primary School.

Along with police and Police Community Support Officers, Barry and 12 pupils aged between eight and 13 took part in the speeding operation on the same road where he was injured.

The operation used a digital display unit to highlight how fast drivers were travelling.

If they were above the limit, officers pulled the driver over.

The children also spoke to the driver and handed them letters and pictures they have written and drawn themselves, explaining why speeding is dangerous and how it makes them feel.

Seven drivers also engaged with the children about the speeding operation and members of the public commented they were happy to see the officers and children running it. It was also noticed that traffic was slower because of their presence.

PCSO Alex Kirk said: “Speeding on this road is a problem and we want drivers to realise and understand the dangers and ultimately, the consequences, of what speeding can lead to.”