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Would I be unreasonable to contact this school about pupils' road safety?

(38 Posts)
Moominlandmidwinter Fri 10-May-13 19:19:44

The DC are at two different primary schools, which are fairly close to each other, with a secondary school nearby.

DH usually does the school pick-up. He's away for the weekend, so I had to do it today. For pick-up at the first school, I parked around the corner on a side road. As I pulled out to drive off again, a group of three boys, from the secondary school, came running down the middle of the road. I stopped and waited for them to pass. They made no attempt to get on to the pavement. Half-way to the second school, I turned off a mini-roundabout, and a girl stepped out right in front of me, and I had to slam on the brakes. Then, about 200m down the road, another couple of girls ran across the road just in front of me again.

By the time I got to the second school, I actually felt a bit shaky. I could easily have hit any of these children, and I'm a very careful driver. My lovely ex-childminder actually had a child from this school run out in front of her once, and ended up with a broken pelvis.

Traffic is very bad around the area at the beginning and end of the day, due to the close proximity of these schools (plus another primary school), and I wonder whether the school need to advise the pupils to exercise more caution. I'm considering contacting them to express my concern. Do I sound like a busybody? WIBU- is this just what children of secondary school age do (DD1 will be starting there in September)?

hiddenhome Fri 10-May-13 19:43:43

We live near a secondary school and this is what they do. We have to slow down to around 10mph and just be prepared to stop at any moment.

hedgefund Fri 10-May-13 19:45:34

how lovely it would be if kids could walk to their nearest school stopping the need for parents to clog up the roads

Moominlandmidwinter Fri 10-May-13 19:56:17

Well it would be lovely if DD2 didn't have speech and language difficulties, hence the need for her to attend a different school (with speech and language unit) to DDs 1 and 3. It is physically impossible to get three children to two different primary schools a mile apart, on time, by foot. If it was possible to walk, Hedgefund, we would.

Hiddenhome, you've got a fair point. I think that I am just not used to it (and hate driving at the best of times!)

hiddenhome Fri 10-May-13 20:00:48

I had to drive through them on the way home this lunchtime grin Everywhere they were, all hungry and heading for the cafe. You get used to it. Teens think they're invincible.

AuntieStella Fri 10-May-13 20:07:20

Yes, you will ound like a busybody, but I think it's worth it.

The school may or may not decide to act on road safety concerns (arguably, off premises it's none of their business, but a major accident just by the school and with casualties would have an impact they might prefer to seek to avoid). But you'll have done what you can. And if no-one tells them, they might not realise exactly where/when the worst choke points are.

I saw something on the news recently that the eg most likely to be a pedestrian casualty is 12. Year 7s can be extremely careless. I've got one, and am really pleased when road safety messages get reinforced from unlikely quarters.

hiddenhome how do you propose my DNieces get to school? They go to their nearest and it's 6 miles from their hamlet to the market town. The hamlet children share an LEA-funded taxi, putting a car outside the school.

AuntieStella Fri 10-May-13 20:08:19

Sorry! Not hiddenhome ! Question was meant for hedgefund

And a 13-year old boy has just been knocked down and killed outside his school, I saw on the news.

So I'd say, speak up, even if you feel a bit awkward-squad doing it

pollywollydoodle Fri 10-May-13 20:12:35

i have contacted our local secondary school in the past because, like you, i almost hit someone . He wasn't paying attention because the group he was in were tatting about on the edge of the pavement on a blind bend. Kids often mess about and the road is busy .

i didn't feel able to keep quiet.

Who is to know if the next person to come along Will know there's a school there

Moominlandmidwinter Fri 10-May-13 20:13:32

Will be glad when DH is back and I don't have to do it again for a while! Will try to drum some road sense into DD1 before she starts walking home. Will probably fall on deaf ears though!

Startail Fri 10-May-13 20:15:31

I pick my DDs up from secondary one day a week and the road sense of the pupils is nil

I suspect telling them to be careful would go in one ear and out the other. DD knows some of the silliest ones and assures me they are beyond hope.

hedgefund Fri 10-May-13 20:16:19

i would suggest drivers and road users use more caution, round here the roads are clogged up with cars parked over crossings, on kerbs, over verges. i feel sorry for kids - may 5mph zones would be a good idea around schools

HollyBerryBush Fri 10-May-13 20:18:01

* I wonder whether the school need to advise the pupils to exercise more caution*

lovely idea in theory - how would you suggest policing it?

AuntieStella Fri 10-May-13 20:21:54

They can't police it, of course.

But they can consider including rod safety in PSHE or in assemblies, and hope some of the message sticks.

hedgefund Fri 10-May-13 20:24:11

5mph zones though could be policed

Potterer Fri 10-May-13 20:26:41

The local secondary school to me kicks out at 2pm on a Friday so if I drive to the assembly which starts early (and no I don't live even remotely close enough to walk or I would) I have to dodge around them.

There is more than enough room for them on the wide pavements with no parked cars but they just meander across the road, slowing traffic down, or ignoring the crossing over a busy dual carriageway to take their chances with cars going at 70 mile an hour.

Sadly it is just the way some teenagers are grin

Moominlandmidwinter Fri 10-May-13 20:32:08

It's true that cars are parked very badly, although recently there have been many letters home about this, and now there are PCSOs around the primary schools on a regular basis, to advise parents to move when parked inappropriately.

I agree with AuntieStella, at least if road safety was talked about in school, there is at least a chance that it might get through to some of the pupils. However, I also agree with Startail about some of them probably being beyond hope! The boys running down the centre of the road spring to mind!

AuntieStella Fri 10-May-13 20:36:39

5mph zones would not be much assistance in dealing with the behaviour described in OP.

Before DS started at school I contacted it to express concerns regarding road safety of the bloody parents. Now we are there I see the frequency of newsletter reminders.

It might spur the school to do yet another reminder in assembly.

lljkk Netherlands Fri 10-May-13 20:39:47

yanbu, just state the facts. At least you've tried.

YANBU. Do speak up.

The local secondary school is a stone's throw away from our house and a number of kids seem to have a death wish hmm. Some 'play chicken', pretending to jump out in front of passing cars, some are just careless, some seem to be showing off by being too cool for the pavement.
One teen once ran into DH's stationary car, running around a tight corner too fast (no pavement) grin.

Anyway, we spoke to the school. They do say, that what kids get up to outside the school is outwith their control and not their responsibility. But they also brought it up in assembly and actually for a while things were better.

<shrugs> They are teens, their brains are in the process of being rewired, they are invincible and Too Cool For School. That's why us mature people have to look out for them. Speak up. If it prevents one accident it will have been worth it.
And drive very, very slow as I've got into the habit.

Moominlandmidwinter Fri 10-May-13 20:50:23

I keep thinking of that poor girl with the broken pelvis, and how traumatised my childminder was. She had to stop working for a month, as a big part of her job is ferrying children around. She is usually the calmest, most together person, but she went to pieces. She also had to contend with the fact that the girl who rolled over her bonnet was friends with her DD.

When I was at school, we had a talk from a policeman about the dangers of playing on railway lines. Part of that talk was about the effect it has on the train drivers when they hit someone, the emergency services when they have to pick up the pieces, and the families involved. It really hit home (not that I would have played on railway lines otherwise!).

If a similar sort of talk hit home with just a couple of pupils, and potentially stop them from being ran-over, it would be worth it.

olivo Fri 10-May-13 20:50:41

Definitely email the school. I find it really helps us to get the message across if we can say we had a message from some one who lives locally etc etc.

Sidge Fri 10-May-13 20:57:45

I hear you.

I drive to DD2 and 3s school (too far to walk and DD2s SN mean this is the right school for her before I get told to walk) and drive past 3 senior schools.

My journey is a frightening experience most days as so many of these kids have a death wish, whether on foot or bikes. They are on and off the pavements, running across the roads, darting in and out of traffic and rarely seem to wait for the lollipop man. They shove each other off pavements into traffic and push each other off bikes.

It's not uncommon to see paramedics and police gathered around one lying in the road from time to time sad - it's just a miracle none of them have been killed.

However carefully I drive I live in horror of hitting one.

Hassled Fri 10-May-13 20:59:19

I agree you should say something.

They're bloody clueless re road safety around here, too - DS2 was pratting about on a road while DD happened to be driving past. She pulled over and yelled at him in front of his mates - he won't be doing it again grin.

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