Spreading road safety messages with the help of a little magic

Alan [Correct] Innes, of Allan’s Road Safety Magic Show, with Middlestone Moor Primary School pupils, from left, Lilly Mae Pattison, Sam Norris, Connor Cason and Scarlett Turnbull

A magic show packed full of potentially lifesaving messages has captivated hundreds of youngsters across County Durham.

Durham County Council commissioned Allan’s Road Safety Magic Show to deliver entertaining and interactive performances at ten primary schools across the county.

With the help of spellbinding tricks, plenty of jokes and some catchy songs, the reception and key stage one pupils were given an important introduction to road safety.

Topics covered included stop look listen; be safe, be seen; holding hands; safer places to cross; and how to use different types of light controlled crossings.

The performances were part of the council’s Slow to 20 for Safer Streets programme, which supports the introduction of reduced speed limits outside of schools. It also raises awareness of the dangers of speeding and delivers educational activities to primary and secondary aged children, encouraging them to walk and cycle to school safely.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “It’s vital we educate children about road safety from a young age and Allan’s Road Safety Magic Show allows us to do so in a way that really appeals to youngsters.

“By incorporating these important messages into songs, magic tricks and jokes, they really stick in children’s minds. They see it as fun, but the lessons they are learning have the potential to save lives.”

The schools that took part in the magic show were:

  • Shotley Bridge Primary School
  • Annfield Plain Infants School
  • Cockton Hill Infants School in Bishop Auckland
  • Cotsford Infants School in Horden
  • Acre Rigg Infants School in Peterlee
  • Middlestone Moor Primary School near Spennymoor
  • Newton Hall Infants School near Durham City
  • Dene House Primary School in Peterlee
  • Greenland Community Primary School in Stanley
  • Consett Infants School

Since its launch in 2015, 109 schools, nurseries and colleges across the county have benefited from new 20mph speed limits. The scheme has been supported by area action partnerships (AAP) and town and parish councils.

Cllr Stephens added: “The Slow to 20 scheme has been a great success and, with the support of AAPs and town and parish councils, we have been able to help keep even more children safe.”

As well as the magic show, schoolchildren have worked alongside professional artists to design 20mph signs and have acted out short road safety themed plays. Junior road safety officers have also been appointed to spread messages to fellow pupils.

To find out more about the project, visit www.durham.gov.uk/slowto20

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