Cats get lucky and learn how to cross a road safely

Police Road safety training at Donington Cowley Primary School.
Police Road safety training at Donington Cowley Primary School.

Police who rolled out a new road safety awareness initiative to a South Holland primary school had a purr-fect audience.

Pupils at Donington Cowley Endowed Primary School had spent the morning being put through their paces in the classroom and playground before moving out to the roadside.

Work starting on new crossing on the A15 at Northorpe, near Bourne. ANL-150903-094757001

Work starting on new crossing on the A15 at Northorpe, near Bourne. ANL-150903-094757001

But when they arrived in Towndam Lane they were met by some very curious onlookers.

PC Karl Cinavas, Neighbourhood Policing Team rural beat manager, who organised the day, said: “Two or three cats came out from nowhere and started following the children – they seemed very curious about what was happening. We even had them crossing the road with us.”

The initiative was launched at Donington in response to concerns about vehicles outside the school obstructing views when children need to cross the road.

PC Cinavas said: “Children were being put in danger having to walk along the road to find a clear spot.”

The children very much enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about road safety

By chief reporter Chrissie Redford

It came in the same week a school in Bourne was welcoming the news a new crossing was to be built near the location in Northorpe where two schoolgirls were hit by a minibus in January last year.

Latest figures from the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership show in the past five years in Lincolnshire there have been two fatal road accidents involving children, 128 serious injuries and 1145 slight injuries.

John Siddle, Road Safety Partnership spokesman, said: “We have Road Safety Officers in primary and secondary schools, delivering road safety education from Year 2 right through to sixth form students.

“We work with neighbourhood policing teams to deliver a range of road safety education and welcome any interaction that makes children in Lincolnshire safer on the road.”

The road safety initiative launched in Donington has taken over from the Green Cross Code, which many residents will remember from their own school days.

PC Cinavas said: “We did some road-themed activities in school to start with to get the children engaged.

“Part of it involved using a map of a road and moving cars and people into safe positions.

“Then we moved into the playground and created a roadside scenario, with children taking turns to be traffic or pedestrians.

“From there we took smaller groups into Towndam Lane to show them how to cross the road when it is safe.

“While we were outside the other children went back into the classroom for singing and dancing.”

Mrs Marina Faulkner, headteacher, said: “The children very much enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about road safety.

“This was a valuable project and we look forward to further working in partnership with the local police officers and PCSOs.

“I would like to thank the officers for their help and commitment to working with the children.”

The success of the project means it will now be rolled out to other schools in South Holland. PC Cinavas said: “It went really well. Working in schools like this is certainly something we enjoy doing.”