#childsafety | Police called to Poole school over head’s safety concerns about bad driving

A HEAD teacher is “extremely concerned” for pupil safety due to “poor driving” by parents at the school gates.

Lucy Waterhouse, head teacher at Haymoor Junior School, has written to parents following numerous complaints that child safety is being compromised when they are being dropped off and picked up before and after the school day.

In this letter she said “a number of parents” were “exceeding the speed limit, not observing the zebra crossing, using their mobile phones and dropping children off in a dangerous manner”.

On Wednesday, Dorset Police even paid a visit to the school, at Ashdown Close, Poole, due to the concerns.

A spokesman for the police’s No Excuse Team said: “The complaints were around speeding, using mobile phones whilst driving and poor and inconsiderate parking. One driver was dealt with for using a mobile phone whilst driving and several motorists were given words of advice around parking. We are also investigating an allegation of a parent driving over a pavement near to children.

“We will return to this location and visit other schools around the county.”

Around ten years ago the Daily Echo ran a successful ‘Parking Mad’ campaign, which highlighted dangerous driving in and around the conurbation’s schools.

On Friday we spoke to parents at Haymoor Junior School.

Parent Stacey Woods said: “People park dangerously here, particularly when the weather is bad.

“It does get pretty crazy but, in general, the school is trying to manage it. Part of the problem is that people turn around just outside the gates, and you’ll get so many people parked there. The school is doing its best.”

Lindsay Ress, who was picking up his grandchildren, said: “You get people parking on the pavements and all over the place.

“The worse the weather, the worse it gets. I’m very happy the police took action.”

Kim Haines said: “The main problem is out by the road outside the gates where here are double yellows all the way down.

“I’ve only ever seen a traffic warden here twice.”

In her letter to parents, Mrs Waterhouse said: “I do not want to ever have to write to parents to inform them that an accident has happened on school grounds and everyone can take action to ensure that does not happen.

“Please drive with extreme caution around the school locality.

“I have had reports of parents on their phones driving around the school locality.”

The speed limit around the school is 10mph and cars are prohibited from parking on the yellow lines along Ashdown Close.

Teachers are also in the process of arranging road safety assemblies for all children.

Mrs Waterhouse’s letter concluded: “I am sure that you will agree that the safety of our children is paramount and we all have a responsibility to work together to ensure that our school is safe at all time.”

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