Local schools to take part in record attempt

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More than 1,000 Stonehaven primary school pupils will take part in a national road safety awareness event next week and attempt to set a new world record. On Wednesday, June 20, pupils from Arduthie, Dunnottar and Mill O’Forest Primary Schools will join more than 100,000 children across the UK in a march to highlight road safety.

National charity Brake has organised the event and hopes the combined total number of pupils taking part across the country will mean a new world record.

The current record for the largest simultaneous walking bus in multiple locations by children stands at 119,697.

Brake’s ‘Kids Say Slow Down’ campaign will see the Stonehaven pupils march from each of their schools at 10am as part of the Giant Walking Bus to the town’s Mineralwell Park.

The event aims to encourage drivers to slow down, raise awareness of the dangers of traffic and highlight the positive impact of walking. Independent witnesses will observe the Stonehaven march for the Guinness Book of World Records as pupils count down to 10am in their playgrounds before setting off on their way to the park.

Each school has been busy making banners and posters as well as learning chants and songs for the event, with all three schools gathering together at the park briefly before returning along the same routes.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Councillor Isobel Davidson, said: “This is a great opportunity for children to help highlight the very important issue of road safety around their schools to local drivers.

“It was fantastic to see the schools coming together at this event last year, and I hope the effect of seeing all the pupils taking part again in the campaign really hits home with anyone tempted to speed or drive dangerously around town.”

Vice chair of the Committee, Councillor Ron McKail, added: “Road safety is a key priority for the council and we are hugely supportive of any event which seeks to highlight this issue to communities.

“Both pupils and staff have put a lot of hard work into organising this march, and I’m sure will feel a great sense of pride at being part of something which reaches across the whole country and involves so many people coming together to promote this message.”

Claire Scott, deputy head teacher of Dunnottar Primary School, said: “Last year’s march was a great success as it really motivated and enthused pupils – it certainly helped make them more aware of the personal tragedy surrounding a road traffic accident as well as the wonderful work done by the charity Brake.

“This year, the initiative links in very well with the work schools have been involved in with school travel plans. It is an excellent opportunity to focus on key issues around road safety such as speed and traffic danger and linking it to many areas of the curriculum.

“And of course it is a lot of fun being allowed to walk through the streets of Stonehaven making as much noise as possible for a very worthwhile cause!”