Murray Park School in Derby is the first school to take part in the Youth for Brake project.
Between February and July 2019, four boys from Year 9 met in school at least twice a week during lunchtime and often met after school to discuss ways to make roads around Murray Park safer for everyone. In particular, they were concerned about the dangers - both to their safety and their health - posed by parents dropping children close to the school gates.
The committee wanted to inspire other children to talk to their parents about what they can do to keep them safe. They created and delivered assembly presentations focusing on key road safety messages, such as the importance of sticking to speed limits, wearing seat belts and not using phones while driving.
They also invited their local MP into school to talk about road safety in Derbyshire. Unfortunately, this meeting had to be cancelled but the students received a supportive quote from him and positive coverage in the media.
The Murray Park for Brake committee will continue to campaign and intend to present an assemblt at another primary school. They also want to set up another committee at Murray Park for younger students.
Tim Taylor, Murray Park’s Aspiration Careers Employability Coordinator, who mentored the Youth for Brake committee, said: "We are proud of what they have done in our local community and thank Brake and Toyota Manufacturing UK Charitable Trust for providing us with this opportunity. We would encourage any school to get involved and show their support for safer roads.”
Watch the Murray Park Youth for Brake video here
Students from the George Eliot School in Nuneaton are some of the first young people in Warwickshire to join the Youth for Brake campaign.
The 16 safety-conscious children have already organised a photo-op with local police and are looking forward to kick-starting their campaigning for safe and healthy mobility.
In 2018, 35 people were killed, and 325 people were seriously injured on Warwickshire's roads. There was a total of 1,654 road casualties - the equivalent of five people being hurt every day on a Warwickshire road. But last year child casualty figures for 0-16 year olds reduced by 29%, with 133 children being injured in 2018 compared to 187 children in 2017.
Sophie Smith, head of religious education and PSHE at the George Eliot School, Nuneaton, said: "We're thrilled to be one of the first schools involved with Youth for Brake and our children are looking forward to coming up with their own ideas so they can raise awareness about this important topic for road safety. We're always keen to support our students in shaping their futures and this innovative project allows them to make a difference within their local community."
The new Travel Team at Nicholas Chamberlaine School in Bedworth are already suggesting many great ideas for how to improve road safety and increase the numbers of pupils walking or cycling to school.
The group of Year 7 and 8 students all reported different ways they want to help their fellow students, including holding assemblies and poster campaigns to raise awareness of safe behaviours while walking and cycling.
The students are especially aware of road safety issues due to the extensive building work at the site over the past few months, meaning large vehicles and increased traffic on and around the school. Even though their impressive new building is now open and being, the old building now needs to be demolished and the grounds redeveloped, which offers them a unique opportunity to have input in the layout of the new grounds and car park.
Alex Parsons-Moore, Head of Wide Horizons and leader of the project at the school said, "The students at Nicholas Chamberlaine school are delighted to be involved in the Youth for Brake project - they have even planned their first event, as assembly for Year 8 students. As a school, we want to encourage our students to be healthy through cycling and walking, but their safety is paramount. In highlighting the issue of road safety, Nicholas Chamberlaine students are contributing to the well- being of both themselves and their community."