VIDEO: Children take to the roadside to wave placards and urge drivers to slow down

MOTORISTS passing through Elm and Friday Bridge on Friday couldn’t fail to get the message.

It was spelt out by schoolchildren holding placards above their heads and shouting out “Slow Down” as each car passed.

And their efforts were successful – not a single driver was clocked exceeding the limit.

The road safety exercise was carried out by Fenland District Council’s Safer Fenland team in conjunction with the police and Speedwatch volunteers. It was the latest in a series of similar events held across the north of the district.

In Friday Bridge local resident Lee Watkins stopped his car specially to voice his support. He said his eight-year-old stepson had recently been nearly mown down by a car racing through the village.

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“He was crossing the road on his scooter and someone came tearing down doing about 50 miles an hour,” he said. “It only just missed him. It’s not the first time it’s happened and someone’s going to get killed soon.”

In Elm others voiced concern about parents who park dangerously near the school.

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Councillors Mac Cotterell, Will Sutton and Gavin Booth turned out to support the event.

Cllr Booth, who is also chairman of the Fenland Rural Road Safety Action Network, said the campaign was definitely beginning to have an impact.

“It is slowly helping to change people’s attitude and the culture around speeding.”

He stressed the importance of getting schools involved.

“Part of the reason is to make use of the ‘nag factor’” he said. “Children are often good at teaching parents’ new ideas and getting them to change their ways – that has happened with recycling, for example.”

The “Slow Down” campaign was launched last May to combat speeding; Guyhirn, Leverington, Parson Drove, Murrow and Gorefield have already been targeted with Wisbech St Mary and Tydd St Giles next on the list.

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