Major week-long road safety campaign to be staged at Westhill Primary School

A week-long campaign aimed at improving road safety at Westhill Primary School is being held later this month.

In a joint approach by Aberdeenshire Council, Police Scotland, Westhill Primary School and its Parent Council, the information week will feature a number of key activities including assemblies for children, community road safety drop-in sessions and school car-park patrols.

The campaign comes in response to concerns over road traffic issues around the school, with the emphasis on bringing the wider community into the discussion.

A public drop-in event will be held on Monday, January 27 in Westhill Library from 11am to 2pm, when both council staff and police officers will be on hand to discuss concerns.

On Tuesday and Friday, members of the Westhill Primary School Parent Council will be patrolling the school car-park at drop-off and pick-up times to monitor driving standards and provide helpful advice to motorists.

Aberdeenshire Council will also be introducing the Park Smart initiative to all school classes during the first assembly of the week. Park Smart focuses on keeping schoolchildren safe by encouraging drivers to park considerately when dropping off and collecting children from school.

Teachers will be delivering in-class road safety messages including homework with the intention of creating long-term behavioural change among parents and guardians.

Westhill Primary School pupils will also get the chance to enter a road safety banner competition, with the winner being announced at the week’s final assembly.

The winner will have their design printed on a banner which will be hung outside the school to promote the road safety message to motorists.

Nominations will also be sought from pupils to take on the role of Junior Road Safety Officers for the remainder of the school term.

The school and council transport safety education officer will appoint and help the eight successful JRSOs required for the school which will comprise four pupils each from P6 and P7.

JRSOs are very important in a primary school, helping to raise road safety awareness and promote road safety issues to everyone in the school and wider community. 

The road safety messages are spread across the school year which helps to highlight the importance of road safety.

Throughout the week, staff from Police Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council will be hosting age-appropriate road safety workshops with all nursery and school classes.

Ewan Wallace, Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Transportation said: “I am delighted to see yet another fine example of partnership working between ourselves, local schools and Police Scotland to deliver the roads safety message in our communities.

“The safety of everyone in our communities is of paramount importance and by working together with our schools and the wider community we are able to raise awareness and ensure our children remain safe at all times.”

Cllr Gillian Owen, chair of the council’s Education and Children Services Committee, said: “Safety at all of our schools remains a top priority across Aberdeenshire and I would like to thank our school staff, council and police teams and, of course, the Parent Council for focusing on this important aspect.”

Inspector Gareth Hannan from the Garioch Community Policing Team commented: “We are delighted to be working alongside our partners at Aberdeenshire Council to improve road safety. We have listened to, and acted upon, the concerns of parents and this is both an excellent example of partnership working and how joint working can help to keep people safe.”