CHILDREN whose school is next to the busy A68 are giving passing motorists a lesson in safe driving.

Pupils at Toft Hill Primary School, near Bishop Auckland, have created scarecrows that look like police officers to line the route through the village in the hope they deter people from breaking the speed limit.

Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton visited the school today (Friday, May 3) to see the winning designs and pupils heard some other important safety advice including ‘say no to strangers’ from the force.

PCSO Lee Blaney, from the Bishop Auckland neighbourhood policing team, worked with the school and other partner agencies on the project after speeding was raised at local police and community together (PACT) meetings.

He said: “We wanted to work with the children to develop an idea that could promote safety messages within the school and via parents, but also that would catch the attention of the passing motorists.”

Headteacher, Janice Stobbs, said: “The safety of our children is paramount to us, and we worry that the speed at which vehicles pass along the A68 could be the cause of a serious accident one day.

“Getting the children to design a police scarecrow has really fired their imaginations.

"It has also provided some very important road safety advice at the same time.”

In nearby High Etherley, children and staff at Daybreak Nursery also created a scarecrow to remind drivers to take care.