School pupils who spread the road safety message among their classmates have been praised for their dedication.
Durham County Council’s Junior Road Safety Officer (JRSO) scheme sees primary school children in Years 5 and 6 recruited to help keep their fellow pupils safe on the roads.
The role involves maintaining a noticeboard, running competitions every term, speaking in assemblies and organising campaigns to spread the message and provide a vital link between their school and the council’s Road Safety Team.
An end-of-year presentation event took place on Tuesday at County Hall to thank the JRSOs for their hard work throughout the year.
The youngsters showcased examples of their work on specially-made displays and talked about the various activities they have carried out both in school and in their communities.
The event was funded by Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg who was joined by council chairman Cllr Jan Blakey in presenting the JRSOs with certificates and commemorative pens.
Mr Hogg, who officially opened the event, said: “The work of these Junior Road Safety Officers is tremendous and I’m delighted to be involved in this event.
“It is right that we celebrate the positive work these young people do in their schools to promote road safety, as learning the dangers of the road at a young age could ultimately save a life.”
Cllr Blakey, who welcomed guests, added: “One of the many strengths of the JRSO scheme is that pupils are educating their classmates on important road safety messages.
“It is clear from the presentations that I listened to at the event that these young people are true ambassadors for road safety.”
Paul Watson, Durham County Council’s road safety manager, said: “This is the first time that we have been able to host a celebration event and we are delighted to have the opportunity to formally thank the JRSOs for their hard work and give recognition to the dedicated staff in schools who encourage and support them.
“This event has been made possible thanks to funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner and we are delighted to receive his support for the scheme.”
The JRSO scheme was first piloted with eight primary schools in 2011 before being rolled out countywide.
The pilot schools were all involved in the development of a JRSO resource, which supports the programme and is unique to the county council. About 40 schools now take part.
For more information about the JRSO scheme visit www.durham.gov.uk/jrso