SPEEDING drivers were reduced to tears as they were grilled by Wirral pupils about their actions.
The drivers were caught breaking the speed limit outside Black Horse Hill Junior School, West Kirby, and were given the choice of getting a fine and penalty points or going before a special ‘kids’ court.’
The scheme, run by Wirral Council and Merseyside Police on Monday, saw 24 motorists being stopped for exceeding 37mph in a 30mph area.
And after being quizzed by the youngsters, the majority of the drivers said they felt “embarrassed” and “humbled” by their experience.
The children asked them how they would have reacted if a pupil had run out in front of their car while they travelling at that speed, with one driver answering they “felt sick inside.”
Councillor Harry Smith, cabinet member for streetscene and transport, said the pupils managed to get the message across the to the motorists.
He said: “I was very impressed by the way the children approached the subject, they showed maturity well above their age and were a credit to their school. They are wonderful advocates for young children who really care about their environment and road safety.
“Most of those stopped said they were going so fast as they were ‘running late’ but the children made them realise that even a small increase in speed can have devastating consequences. The harsh reality is that if you hit a child at 30mph, there is an 80% chance they will live, if you hit them at 40mph there is an 80% chance they will die.
“The overwhelming message from the children was a simple one: if we want to improve the safety and quality of life of children using roads in our communities, we need to drive at a speed appropriate to the environment.”
And chief superintendent John Martin, area commander for Wirral, hopes the kids’ court will go some way to highlighting the impacts of speeding on roads.
He said: “Merseyside Police is committed to making our roads safer for everyone and regularly stage road policing campaigns to educate drivers as well as to prosecute those who flout driving laws.
“We know that speeding is a significant contributory factor in road traffic collisions and we welcome initiatives that reinforce the message that speed kills, especially as the darker nights are now upon us and the weather is continuing to deteriorate.
“We hope this impactive experience of being told the consequences of their actions by children will drive home the message that motorists must reduce their speeds in a way that receiving a fine cannot and that this in turn will make our roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians.”