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Council Uses Spooky Child Mannequins To Deter Speeding Drivers

14/08/2014 16:53 | Updated 22 May 2015

Council uses spooky child mannequins to deter speeding drivers

A council has come up with an interesting way of deterring speeding motorists outside a primary school.

Three-foot-high bollards painted to look like young children in school uniform have been placed on pavements to fool drivers into thinking kids are about to cross the road at Avenue Primary School, Leicester.

The bollards have been in place for the last few years, however they are still causing controversy in the local community. Motoring organisations have raised concerns that the bollards could be having the opposite of the desired effect and distract drivers from concentrating on the road.

Residents, too, say they find the mannequins rather spooky.

One, Henry Johnson, 50, said: "They've got scary eyes. A friend of mine was out walking at night and was really freaked out by them. It's just weird.

"It reminds me of the Autons from Doctor Who, that were like mannequins that came alive."

Council uses spooky child mannequins to deter speeding drivers

The figures cost £350 each and were put outside Avenue Primary School in Leicester as part of a £230,000 road safety scheme.

Each mannequin is placed on the pavement close to the kerb facing down the road. Other measures outside the school include a 20mph speed limit, speed humps and a new zebra crossing.

Patrick Kitterick, Leicester City Council's cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: "There's been a mixed reaction to them. Some people find them scary with these big eyes staring at you, but some others find them amusing.

"The whole point is whether it is successful and if people actually find they slow down.

"The usual signs of warning triangles often get lost in the array of signs. You do see people driving fast outside schools and you do think do they realise what they're doing?

"This might just remind them. It's a bit out of the ordinary but perhaps it needs to be a bit out of the ordinary."

AA head of road policy Paul Watters said: "It is a nice idea but it's a shame they can't be retracted when it isn't term time.

"I worry they will be vandalised and can see people having a laugh with them after a few drinks on a Friday night."

A spokesman for the RAC added: "There is a concern that the statues will become a distraction with drivers focusing on them rather than the road ahead."

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