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Speeding drivers to face ‘courts’ of school pupils in scheme that leaves some in tears

Dangerous drivers who speed past primary schools will face a grilling by the young children in resumed safety measures, it has been revealed.

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The ‘pupil courts’ set up to confront the racing motorists are meant to hit home the impact of their reckless behaviour and stop them from putting young lives at risk.

The measure, run for about 10 years before the Covid pandemic, reportedly packed an emotional punch with drivers leaving the sessions in floods of tears.

Councillor Steve Melia told members of Sandwell Council's transport scrutiny committee at the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) about the return of pupil courts yesterday, July 3.

They have recently been reintroduced and are operating at some schools in the borough.

He said: “We found in the past that that was very, very useful and many of the drivers finished up crying at what they’d done.”

The process involves schools going out with the police and using a radar gun to check how fast drivers are going as they pass the school.

If they are over the speed limit, police provide the schools with their details and the school invites them to come in and appear in front of the children.

Councillor Melia said: “I believe and a lot of people believe that these were really beneficial.

“To, one, the pupils to show that they had got a voice and secondly, to the drivers to show that they were really being inconsiderate and driving dangerously past schools, a place where there should be taking even more care than normal.

“And some of the courts were really quite – what can I say?

“Let’s put it this way: some of the drivers, they finished crying and apologising for their speeds and you know, the pupils saw what sort of reactions they were getting.”

He explained the children ask questions like ‘why were you travelling at 38mph in a 20mph zone?’ and ‘do you know what could happen if you lost control and hit children?’

Primary schools can start using pupil courts with their local police teams and they are expected to begin at some schools after the summer holiday.

Regional Road Safety Manager Darren Divall also revealed pupil courts were being considered as a region-wide measure.

He said: “It’s just been reinvigorated, it’s a really interesting scheme, so we’ll see how that one goes and see about whether it should be expanded.”