MOTORISTS caught speeding in the new St John’s 20mph zone could find themselves facing a children’s court.
The option, which has been trialled in cities such as Birmingham and Manchester, is currently ‘under consideration’ according to the man behind the slow-down, Councillor Peter Oakford.
Cllr Oakford, who represents St John’s ward on the Borough Council, said: “It is something we are looking at and we are in discussions with local schools on how to implement it.”
However, he added there were numerous hurdles that needed to be overcome before the idea could be implemented. This includes the need for schools to canvas the opinions of parents and get their permission, as well as talking to the police on their cooperation.
Cllr Oakford said it was ‘unlikely’ that these issues would be resolved before he meets Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner next week (Friday March 10) for the official launch of the 20mph zone.
If local schools do sign up to the idea of children’s courts, drivers could face the option of either paying a fine and getting points on their licence or facing a grilling by the young jurors – as is currently the case in Birmingham.
The hope is that by facing the children the offenders will be shamed into observing the new 20mph limit zone which covers fifty roads in a part of Tunbridge Wells that hosts approximately 1,000 primary school pupils during the day.
In Manchester, the children also work alongside police officers and are issued with mini-PCSO uniforms whilst they join speeding and parking patrols near their schools.