Pupils at a Birmingham school who have a higher than average risk of being involved in a road accident have been appealing to drivers to â€˜slow down and look out for school childrenâ€™ in an art competition.
More than 70 pupils from years three, four and five at Starbank School â€“ which has sites in Yardley and Small Heath, and is in the top 10 per cent of Birmingham schools in terms of annual child pedestrian accident numbers* â€“ have submitted designs for a road safety banner competition.
The contest has been organised as part of national road safety charity Brakeâ€™s Road Safety Week (17-21 November) and supported by the Birmingham office of Clarke Willmott law firm and Birmingham City Councilâ€™s Smarter Choices Team, who have also judged the entries.
The winning design by Imaan Chaudhary, nine, has been printed on a giant PVC banner, which will become a permanent fixture on the gates of Starbank Schoolâ€™s Bierton Road site.
The banner was unveiled this morning (Monday 17 November) by Philip Edwards, serious injury partner at Clarke Willmott, and Jenny Coombs of the Smarter Choices Team, who talked to pupils about how to stay safe when travelling to and from school, before presenting Imaan with a prize and two runners up, Omar Dawoud, nine, and Abdiqadir Ahmed, 10, with certificates.
Last week, Birmingham City Council revealed the first parts of the city to get 20mph speed limits in a bid to improve road safety. Working with schools is part of a wider approach to raise awareness of the introduction of the new speed limits and encourage drivers to change their behaviour.
Two of Starbank Schoolâ€™s three sites are located in areas earmarked by the council for a future roll out of 20mph limits.Â These areas have been chosen for several reasons, including higher levels of public support and the numbers of casualties, particularly among children.
Philip Edwards, serious injury partner at Clarke Willmott, said: â€œUnfortunately, in my job I see all too often the devastating effect of serious injuries after road traffic crashes. The bigger tragedy is that most of these crashes are avoidable.
â€œThis is why Clarke Willmott is pleased to have given Starbank School pupils the chance to appeal directly to drivers to slow down and take care during national Road Safety Week, and indeed in the longer term. Hopefully the banner will make drivers take that extra bit of care that might save a life or prevent someone from being injured.â€
John Geoghegan, assistant head teacher at Starbank School, continued: â€œOur pupils were keen to take part in the competition in order to both show off their design skills and promote road safety to those driving past our school.â€
Councillor James McKay, Birmingham City Councilâ€™s cabinet member for social cohesion, equalities and community safety, whose portfolio covers road safety, said: â€œItâ€™s brilliant to see the children at Starbank taking the initiative like this. Now adults across the city need to raise their game, too, and take personal responsibility for keeping our streets as safe as we all deserve.â€
*Starbank School is within the top 10 per cent of Birmingham schools for local pedestrian casualties.Â This is based on killed or seriously injured casualty data for pedestrian accidents within a 1km radius of Birmingham schools over a three year period recorded by West Midlands Police.
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