A primary school in the north of the island is asking motorists to ‘Slow Dhoon’.
The speeding campaign is being run by Dhoon School, which is next to the main road through Maughold and has no official crossing points.
School administrator Annette Kelly says the initiative came about after the school’s council, made up of pupils from a number of year groups, did a traffic survey and found a number of cars speeding and parking in dangerous places.
‘We’ve got children that live on the housing estates up the road who walk to school every day and they’ve got to cross,’ she said. ‘It’s crazy what happens on that little road.
‘If we’ve got people parking on the zigzag yellows, crossing becomes really difficult as we haven’t got a specific crossing area.
‘The restriction of your sight up the road is very limited if a car parks there.
‘It’s about keeping that message out there, especially when you’ve got the younger ones going to their outdoor learning, and you wouldn’t believe how many people you see speeding.’
Mrs Kelly continued: ‘The school council was made aware of active travel [making a journey by more active means, such as walking or cycling]. We have a meeting every Monday night after school and this was one of the things they were quite keen to follow up on and work out how to make a difference.
‘The council decided to design a banner.
‘In December, children designed slogans and they would brought it in when we came back to school in January. We had quite a few entries from all year groups across the school.’
The slogan ‘Slow Dhoon’ was picked but the poster incorporated a mix of the children’s designs.
‘We had a police officer come in and see us, and the kids were great,’ Mrs Kelly said. ‘They were so open and honest about the things they’ve seen at school.
‘The road safety team gave us a big banner which is displayed outside of school and a couple of A3 ones which we’ve put on posts outside the school.
‘The next day the police were outside with the radar doing speed checks, so I took a couple of the school council out.
‘What we’re trying to do as a school council is keep the message out there, so we did a stuff on social media and there will be more messaging when we come back from holidays, like don’t park on the zigzags.
‘Our plan is each time we come back to school after a half term we share these messages on our Facebook page just to keep everybody aware.’
Dhoon School invited Garff Commissioners, the police’s road safety team and Garff MHK Andrew Smith to present a talk about the campaign.
‘My school council spoke to an audience of five or six grown-ups about what they’ve done,’ Mrs Kelly added. ‘It was amazing really what they did, to speak out from start to finish.
‘It shows they’ve been really encouraged by what we’ve done so far and these grown-ups have come to listen to them and see what they’ve come together and organised.’
The school administrator explained that the children ‘were very excited’ to see what they had created when the banner arrived to the school.
Mrs Kelly said: ‘This is quite a big thing for us because seeing it from the design stage to this is great.
‘It’s been a nice thing to do and something we can keep picking away at.
‘We didn’t actually plan for it to fall around TT time but it’s worked well so far.’