Speeding drivers taken to court by Hamstead pupils

Published 6th July 2018

Hamstead Primary

Drivers caught speeding outside a Great Barr school were shamed into slowing down – by being hauled in front of a court of schoolchildren.

Motorists caught in an operation outside Hamstead Primary School last week were given the option of a fine – or face Year 5 pupils asking difficult questions about why they were breaking the limit.

Eight drivers who were exceeding the 20mph limit were brought before the Kids Court, where the children challenged them with thought-provoking questions including: 

 “How would you and your family be affected if you lost your licence today?”

“If you hurt someone while you were driving, what would their family think of you?”

Four drivers were educated at the roadside by the casualty reduction team of West Midlands Fire Service, and 10 drivers were prosecuted due to excessive speeds. 

The highest speed recorded on the day was 35mph in a 20mph zone.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for highways and environment Councillor David Hosell said: “Road safety has dramatically improved on Sandwell’s roads over the past 10 years, however we are constantly striving to reduce the numbers of people killed or seriously injured even further. Kids Court is one of the ways our road safety team are getting this message across.

“This was the third Kids Court we’ve held in Sandwell. It’s a really good way of educating people and also cementing our relationship with West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire service to enforce 20mph zones in our residential areas.”

One driver who went before the Kids Court said: ““I am very sorry for speeding, I was thinking about being late for work other than the children’s safety” while another added: “I will remember being asked “If I had killed any of the children, how would I feel?”

Head teacher of Hamstead Junior School Tim Bowen said: “Holding a Kids Court will last not only in our pupils’ memories, but also in the memories of the adults who were stopped.

“It’s helping us to spread the message of safe driving in Sandwell. 

“Our children are developing lifelong skills and positive values, displaying their understanding of citizenship and a care for the community in which they live.”