North East Connected

Schoolchildren are road safety teachers

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 15.38.00Schoolchildren have gathered to celebrate a project which sees them teach their peers about road safety.

Pupils from 14 primary schools came together for an end term event in celebration of Durham County Council’s Junior Road Safety Officer (JRSO) scheme.

The initiative is based on peer-to- peer education, children educating their fellow pupils on important road safety messages.

JRSOs from the schools attended the event at County Hall in Durham during which they created displays and listened to presentations from colleagues from The Ribbon School, Murton and Stanley Burnside Primary School.

The JRSOs also watched the premiere of a drama created by students from King James I Academy in Bishop Auckland.

This was developed with support from the council’s Road Safety Team, to raise awareness of the part time 20 mile per hour speed limit which has been set up outside the school as part of the authority’s Slow to 20 for Safer Streets project.

Following the performance – which the academy is planning to take round schools – the JRSOs were involved in workshops led by King James students.

Those JRSOs who are leaving primary school to go to secondary schools were presented with certificates and commemorative pens by the council’s chairman, Cllr Edward Bell, and cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, Cllr Brian Stephens.

Cllr Stephens said: “This event was a fantastic celebration of all the hard work the Junior Road Safety Officers do throughout the school year.

“The drama performance by King James Academy is a dynamic way to get the important speed awareness messages across to both students and the wider community, and we wish them every success with the planned tour of schools.”


Forty two schools work with the Road Safety Team to recruit JRSOs.

The children issue road safety messages by maintaining a noticeboard, running termly competitions, speaking in assembly and organising campaigns.

The JRSOs also work closely with the Road Safety Team to deliver a host of educational projects.

Over the past year these have included: road safety themed poetry workshops with performance poet Bernard Young, storytelling sessions with local author Adam Bushnell and the creation of a DVD about the JRSO scheme.

The JRSOs have also supported the Slow to 20 for Safer Streets projects in their schools and have helped to organise launch events and assemblies, and developed newspapers.

John Reed, the council’s head of technical services, said: “The Junior Road Safety Officers do an excellent job and provide vital support to our Road Safety Team, by helping to spread very important road safety messages to their peers and families.

“They also provide essential promotion of the Slow to 20 speed awareness campaign.”

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