The short arm of the law
Dominic Bareham SPEEDING motorists were caught red handed and left red faced when they had to explain their actions to a group of schoolchildren.Pupils from Southtown First and Edward Worlledge Middle schools proved a more effective deterrent than the police when they patrolled Suffolk Road outside their schools, looking for drivers exceeding the 20mph speed limit.
SPEEDING motorists were caught red handed and left red faced when they had to explain their actions to a group of schoolchildren.
Pupils from Southtown First and Edward Worlledge Middle schools proved a more effective deterrent than the police when they patrolled Suffolk Road outside their schools, looking for drivers exceeding the 20mph speed limit.
During a 50-minute period on Tuesday, the youngsters grilled 22 motorists pulled over by PC Matt Buckoke of Acle Road Police, to find out why they had drove too quickly past their schools.
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And every one of the contrite drivers agreed being told off by schoolchildren was a better way of encouraging people from speeding than the likely police prosecution of a £60 fine or three points on the licence.
Lowestoft man Peter Keller, 41, was caught doing 33mph in his white van by the speed gun and said he had put his foot down to get to work.
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He said: “Having the children stop motorists is a brilliant idea. As I was saying to the children it has much more of an impact on a driver to have a child standing there saying, 'What if I was to run out in front of a car?'
“It is nice to be able to speak to a child who you have not knocked down than to not be able to speak to them after they have been killed by a speeding car.”
Mr Keller added: “If there is a policeman there and he stops you for speeding you just say, 'Well, never mind. Do you want my money or not?'”
Yarmouth grandfather Derek Webster, 74, told the children he would “feel sick” if one of his grandchildren had been killed by a speeding motorist. He had been stopped while driving home from a shopping trip to Asda, but offered no explanation for speeding.
The Lichfield Road resident said: “That is why I have got no excuse for speeding because I have got all the time in the world.”
He added: “I think it is a brilliant idea to have the schoolchildren on patrol. I know the sort of traffic pressure this road is under with the schools and I think the children are doing a good job.
“It is better for them to give me a rollicking than the police.”
The day-long patrols were arranged with the schools by PCSOs Lee Brown and Martin Chapman of Cobholm and Southtown Safer Neighbourhood Team, after the issue of speeding cars had been raised at neighbourhood meetings the pair attended.
PC Buckoke said as the motorists he had stopped were not driving excessively quickly he gave them a caution and the chance to apologise to the children, but drivers who were well over the speed limit would receive a ticket.
“Hopefully, by stopping 20 or 30 cars today they will in future remember that they have got a telling off from the kids here,” he said.
Antonina Shebunayeva, a teaching assistant at Edward Worlledge, said pupils in all year groups had the opportunity to be speak to drivers during the day.
“It is a really nice experience for the children. I am really grateful to the police for giving the children the chance to do this. It will prove a very good lesson for them,” she said.
She added students at Great Yarmouth College often exceeded the speed limit as they drove down Suffolk Road.