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  • "I agree with most of what is being said here, I think however, it is important to point out that whilst all blame is being pinned on the head to deal with this, there are 3 schools on the same road. The most recent incident with the young man running into the road happened at the entrance of one of the private schools and the driver was coming out of the school car park as the boy ran in front of the car hence the fact that he was not seriously injured. This school is a 100 yards away from Larkmead entrance. At Larkmead they have teachers standing at the gates ensuring safe crossings of their own school entrance and a lollipop man to cross over the Faringdon road straight outside the gate.
    I have two children in the school, both of whom I like to think behave safely but children are children and I have waited outside the school for them on a few occasions where I have seen the children coming safely out of the school but once out of sight of the teachers who stand on the gate they run into the road and play push me pull me games which is very dangerous and again they end up in the road. Short of the teachers escorting the children all the way home the only thing that can be done is the parents need to remind children of the green cross code, try to instil into them the dangers of playing games near roads (which is something I tell my own children) or collecting them themselves. The parents need to take some responsibility here.
    The other incident where the young lady crashed with a bus was nowhere near the school, she was crossing the McDonalds roundabout and the bus driver did not see her, yet it is the head who is being blamed because she was wearing a Larkmead jumper. It is very easy to point blame, the simple fact is when driving near a school all care and attention must be made, I automatically slow down when I see ANYBODY near a curb because you never can tell what their intentions are.
    Putting in speed humps and reducing the speed may help but it wouldn’t have made any difference to the last two incidents because neither of them were on the actual Faringdon road."
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Head's plea for crossing

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

AN ABINGDON headmaster is calling for traffic calming measures near his school after the latest accident involving a pupil.

Chris Harris, who is headteacher of Larkmead School, wants measures in Spring Road and Faringdon Road, including a dedicated crossing, to prevent further accidents.

On Wednesday a boy ran out and was involved in an accident with a Mercedes car.

He was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg but doctors found he had no broken bones.

In the past four years two children have been killed on the roads around Larkmead while making their way to or from school.

Mr Harris said: “We have already done everything we can short of being able to get these traffic-calming measures.

“There is still a need for more road awareness and eduction and this week’s accident emphasises that but this was not the kind of incident that our systems would probably prevent.

“We work very hard to have a safe system and have invested quite a lot of money in it.”

Mr Harris said the school has a crossing patrol officer and tells cyclists to leave the school via the rear exit to prevent a rush of cyclists leaving the premises at the end of the day.

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As well as trying to prevent children from becoming involved in accidents as they come and go from the school, Larkmead also holds assemblies on the topic of road safety to educate its pupils.

In 2008, 17-year-old Larkmead pupil Sarah Waterhouse was killed when she collided with a coach while cycling to school.

The school then launched a road safety campaign in her honour.

In 2009 another schoolgirl, 11-year-old Ty-Ree Partridge, died after colliding with a van.

Thames Valley Police said a driver was questioned at the scene of Wednesday's crash but was not reported.

Oxfordshire County Council was unavailable to comment.

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