ARK Kings Parents Raise Awareness of Road Safety

Parents and children with Kings Norton Fire Service and Councillor Peter Griffiths raising awareness of road safety in Kings Norton

Yesterday (Wednesday 19 November), parents from ARK Kings Academy marked national Road Safety Week by teaming up with local Councillor Peter Griffiths and Kings Norton Fire Service to launch their campaign to improve road safety for young people making their way to and from school.

Parents assembled outside of the academy as the school day was drawing to a close. They displayed signs to make drivers aware of their concerns for the safety of children and other road users along Shannon Road. The group quickly caught the attention of passersby, who stopped to share with them their own concerns and what they want to see done to improve safety along the Shannnon Road in Kings Norton.

Parents are particularly concerned about the lack of a crossing point at the corner of Shannon Road and Masshouse Lane, which means students regularly dash across the road, narrowly missing buses and other passing traffic. They are also unhapppy the risk to students and drivers caused by the narrow pavements nearby Teviot Grove and want students themselves to take more care when crossing the road.

Michelle Ellis, a parent at Kings Academy said:

"I am a driver and I use this road quite a lot back and forth to work. I have come across situations where there is a bus and kids have run out across the bus and all of a sudden they are there in the road in front of you."

Another parent, Louise Hicks, said:

"It only takes a split second for them to get run over and it affects not just them but also those who see it.”

Improving Road Safety

Parents are in discussions with local officials to bring attention to bring about improvements to road safety and help train young people to cross the road safely. Our parents want:

  • Road safety training for young people, supported by schools and parents.
  • A 20 mile per hour zone outside of school and speed monitoring signs to encourage drivers to slow down when driving near schools.
  • A crossing at the corner of Shannon Road and Masshouse Lane to help young people get across the road safely.
  • Widened pavements to allow students to walk safely to and from school, even when in a large group.

Emma Draper, who joined the Parent Forum in September, said:

“I would like to see more training to help children cross the road safely. I would also like to see improvements to the Shannon Road, with more crash barriers fitted and wider pavements to stop students spilling out onto the road."

Road Safety Week

The parents’ campaign is timed to coincide with Road Safety Week, a UK-wide event organised annually by Brake, the road safety charity. It's a community involvement event that involves thousands of schools, employers, emergency services and community groups each year.

This year’s theme is ‘Look Out for Each Other’. Brake is asking everyone to do their bit to help stop the five deaths and 61 serious injuries that happen every day on UK roads. Brake is calling on drivers to slow down to 20mph in communities, look longer and take it slow at junctions and bends, and give people plenty of room and consideration. They are also asking pedestrians and cyclists to show consideration by, for example, looking both ways before crossing at roads and taking off headphones to avoid distraction. 

Listening to Parents' Concerns over Road Safety

Aaron and Louis from ARK Kings Academy receive road safety advice from Kings Norton Fire Service

The parents leading the campaign are members of the Parent Forum. The Parent Forum was established in 2013 as a way to give parents at ARK Kings Academy a chance to meet on a regular basis with staff and share their views on how things are going and where we can improve. At ARK Kings Academy we are proud of our parents' campaign and are helping to ensure their concerns over road safety are addressed. 

In addition to launching the parents’ road safety campaign, ARK Rose Primary Academy and ARK Kings Academy also hosted a road safety visit by West Midlands Fire Service.

The Kings Norton Red Watch crew showed primary and secondary school pupils the specialist equipment they use to rescue people in road traffic crashes. Crew members answered questions from pupils and gave out important road safety tips to pupils and parents, such as encouraging people to wear reflective bands over winter coats to make it easier for drivers to see you when crossing the road.