Schoolchildren in Sheffield join front line in battle against dangerous driving

Pupils monitor parking outside Athelstan Primary School (Dean Atkins)
Pupils monitor parking outside Athelstan Primary School (Dean Atkins)
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Schoolchildren in Sheffield have joined the battle against drivers accused of putting young lives at risk.

Athelstan Primary School in Handsworth this week deployed pupils armed with clipboards outside its gates to monitor drivers' behaviour.

The number of drivers caught parking dangerously did drop towards the end of the week of action (Dean Atkins)

The number of drivers caught parking dangerously did drop towards the end of the week of action (Dean Atkins)

They kept a daily tally each morning of parents placing children in peril by stopping on double yellow lines and at the bus stop.

Deputy headteacher Lisa Watson said pupils on the school council had come up with the idea themselves in an attempt to get inconsiderate drivers to mend their ways.

"They've been keeping a record of the drivers parking in the bus stop or on double yellows, or turning around in the care home at the end of the road, which is also dangerous.

"Children are being forced to walk into the road. I thank God nobody's been knocked down yet, but we don't want to wait for that to happen.

"Our pupils have been making eye contact with drivers stopping on the double yellows, and a few have moved on after seeing them, but we'll have to see whether it has a long-term impact."

Ms Watson added that parents had no excuse for parking dangerously as the school ran a morning drop-off initiative, enabling parents to pull up across the road and have their children escorted to school with no need for them to leave the driver's seat.

The school council's week-long protest appears to have been paying dividends, with the pint-sized wardens counting 36 cars contravening the rules on Monday but that number falling to 14 by Friday morning.

The stunt followed a recent crackdown by Sheffield Council and South Yorkshire Police against dangerous parking, which saw warnings and fines issued flouting regulations outside schools including Athelstan.

It also comes in the same month police were called to Carfield Primary School in Meersbrook where tempers flared over a demonstration staged by parents.