Penarth and Vale youngsters get the road safety message across
9:00am Wednesday 16th January 2013 in News
ARTWORK by a Penarth youngster is set to become the central part of a road safety campaign across the Vale of Glamorgan.
More than 100 children from 34 schools in the Vale entered a competition to design a poster warning drivers of the dangers of parking close to school crossings.
And eight-year-old Ella Handley - a pupil at Ysgol Pen y Garth - was the overall winner, with her brightly coloured picture with the slogan "Park Away: Make our DAY!/Parcio'n bell: Dan ni'n teimlo'n WELL!".
Allan Everett from competition sponsor CelticAsh, a joint venture between Lafarge and RWE, said the company became involved in the campaign because, as for many industrial businesses operating in the Vale, road safety is a priority.
"CelticAsh moves thousands of tonnes of ash from Aberthaw Power Station each year to be recycled into cement products, and this means we are constantly alert to the need to drive as safely as possible, especially when we go through towns or villages where there are schools," he said.
"So this is a message not just for us but for all drivers - parking near school crossings reduces visibility and therefore increases risk.
"We hope that when drivers see Ella's posters, they will both approach with caution and park carefully, helping to make sure children can come and go from school as safely as possible."
John Rogers, road safety officer at the Vale Council, said that overall road safety had improved in recent years, but simple steps like parking away from schools or even not taking the car at all can help reduce accidents further.
"Parking next to crossings means drivers can't see children and children can't see approaching vehicles," he said.
"Hopefully this campaign will make people think before they park, and we can keep these figures coming down."
Ella's artwork will feature on four of the 10 banners produced.
The others will feature pictures from the runners up: Lowri and Rhianna Reynolds from St David's Church in Wales Primary School, Colwinston; The Junior Road Safety Officers from Victoria Primary School, Penarth; and Molly Macklen from Peterston-Super-Ely Primary School.
The banners will be shared over the schools in the area and changed frequently to keep the message fresh.