Conscientious Fareham schoolchildren who are going beyond the call of duty to raise awareness about road safety have been rewarded with a tour of their local police station.
Youngsters at Harrison Primary – who have just held a competition to design a road safety mascot – spent the day with officers at Fareham police station inspecting weapons, cars and cells.
Among them was nine-year-old Adam Green, whose creation Harrison the Tortoise (spelt ‘Taught Us’) came first out of 600 pupil mascot entries.
He says: ‘The idea of a tortoise originally came to me because they are safe and slow.
‘But when I said it out loud enough times I realised the word “tortoise” could also be heard as “taught us” which was even better.
‘I feel very strongly about road safety and I hope my mascot will help raise more awareness and save people’s lives.’
Adam was joined by competition runners-up Izzy Coote, five, who came up with a pair of ‘Bee Safe Bee Seen’ bees, and Sophie Wilson, 10, who had the idea of a Teddington police bear, as well as members of the school’s Junior Road Safety committee.
Lachlan McIntosh, 10, who is one of two road safety officers at Harrison, says: ‘It seemed like a good idea to have a mascot to symbolise our road safety campaign.
‘It’s such a big issue as there are so many people who get hurt on the roads and the majority of the casualties are children.
‘The entries for our competition were spectacular. It was very hard to pick the best.’
He adds: ‘Visiting the police station was cool. We got to see all the officers’ weapons, police cars and cells.’
Harrison Primary is on a through road that always gets very busy and congested at school opening and closing times.
Teaching assistant Tracy Davison admits the pupils’ commitment to road safety is a godsend.
She says: ‘The children are pushing the road safety message themselves – they’re passionate about it.’
Harrison pupils, who now have a Harrison ‘Taught Us’ toy at school, will be out with speed guns over the next few weeks.
They will also be respecting Walk to School Week in May, building a ‘Taught Us’ chart to measure heights so that anyone less than 135cm tall should have a children’s car seat. They will also be raising awareness about wearing helmets while cycling.