Year 3 pupil's road-safety poster to be displayed outside Northampton primary schools with hard-hitting message
The competition saw more than 100 pupils taking part
A Northampton pupil will see her art displayed outside primary schools in Delapre, Rushmere and beyond after winning a poster competition to promote safer driving.
The soon-to-be sign, drawn by a Year 3 pupil named Olivia, was chosen after more than 100 competing designs from other Key Stage 2 pupils. Three runners-up were also chosen – Elsie and Emilia from Abbey Primary School and Emily from Delapre Primary.
All the children won prizes donated by Northampton Town Football Club, Delapre Abbey and the countywide Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance (NSRA), which aims to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.
The competition was organised by Emma Roberts, Councillor for Delapre and Rushmere Ward for West Northamptonshire Council, with support from the NSRA’s partners Northamptonshire Highways, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Helen Sexton, who is head of art at Delapre, said she was most impressed by Olivia's motif of roads being a 'shared space', referencing newer forms of transport, like e-scooters alongside the more traditional cars, pedestrians, bikes and buses.
She said: "It's such a modern take on what we see outside the school.
"We've got all these new and fancy ways of travelling. So, hopefully, it will make people think that it isn't just their safety in their big metal cars, but also the safety of those alongside them."
It is hoped the signs will help on Rothersthorpe Road, which sits near the school. Teachers voiced concerns that the road is sometimes used as a 'rat run' by speeding motorists, sparking fears that someone might get hurt.
Harry Portrey, the head teacher at Delapre, hopes that the competition has not just made this pupil happy, but has also spread a wider awareness of the issue.
He said: "It can often be used as a little rat run by cutting across, even though there are signs.
"We don't want that first fatality, and we get closer year-on-year.
"Most parents understand the dangers and try to be considerate around the school, but there are still those who drive too fast or park too close to crossings for it to stay safe.
"So it's all about talking to the people, talking to the parents to support that message of road safety and, hopefully, we will reach those individuals."
Councillor Roberts added: “The aim of the project was to get local children involved in changing the attitudes of grownups by making them look at the issue through their eyes, in the form of these colourful designs.
“It was also a great way to come up with some new and vibrant signs promoting road safety, and I think it starts a bigger conversation about what we can achieve when we view the road as a shared space.
“All of the designs were amazing and picking one winner was so hard. It was wonderful to present the children with their prizes, certificates and a framed copy of their design, and they really enjoyed a tour of the fire station. Thank you to everyone who supported the project.”
This was just one part of the NSRA's ongoing efforts to reduce casualties on Northamptonshire's roads.