Pupils warned over M-way danger craze

PC Dan Wood from South Ribble NPT has been at Lancaster Lane School with officers from Highways England and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. This is part of a rolling programme where police are visiting local schools near to the motorway network to educate youngsters about the dangers associated with the motorway, such as dropping items on the carriageway from bridges and distracting drivers.
Leyland's motorway network has been highlighted by Highways England as a hot spot for incidents involving items being dropped on to the carriageway causing a danger to motorists and police aim to work with their partners to make the motorway network a safer place.
PC Dan Wood from South Ribble NPT has been at Lancaster Lane School with officers from Highways England and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. This is part of a rolling programme where police are visiting local schools near to the motorway network to educate youngsters about the dangers associated with the motorway, such as dropping items on the carriageway from bridges and distracting drivers. Leyland's motorway network has been highlighted by Highways England as a hot spot for incidents involving items being dropped on to the carriageway causing a danger to motorists and police aim to work with their partners to make the motorway network a safer place.

Leyland has been dubbed a “hotspot” for items dropped from motorway bridges.

The potentially killer craze has prompted police and their partners to talk to young people about the consequences of such mindless actions.

South Ribble Police are visiting schools near the motorway network as part of a programme to educate pupils about the dangers associated with the motorway – such as dropping items on to the carriageway from bridges.

South Ribble Police said Leyland’s motorway network has been highlighted by Highways England as a hotspot for incidents involving items being dropped on to the carriageway causing a danger to motorists.

Sergeant Mark Douglas, of Leyland police, said getting the message across was important.

“It is, particularly when you’re looking at the potential for fatality or serious injury on the motorway network,” he said.

“Lancashire has one of the busiest stretches of motorway, with the M6, in the country.

“A lot of traffic regularly travels at 70mph and a lot of young people don’t realise the dangers of dangling or throwing something off bridges that can impact on cars, or motorcyclists that could cause them to come off. Someone could be killed.

“Throwing objects or 
dropping objects off bridges could cause drivers to be distracted.”

He also warned youngsters of the dangers of straying on to the motorway, too,

“They could be trespassing on motorways as a dare.

“They might feel pressured into doing it, which could prove fatal for them and others.”

As part of the programme, PC Dan Wood, from the South Ribble Neighbourhood Police Team, together with officers from Highways England and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, visited Lancaster Lane Community Primary School, Clayton-le-Woods.

A spokesman for Highways England said: “Safety is our top priority and we don’t want drivers or children and their families caught up in an avoidable tragedy.

“So we often work with partners and various safer roads partnerships to look at ways of improving safety.

“Recently our traffic officers have teamed up with Lancashire Police at South Ribble to talk to school children about how to be safe around motorways, and the risks of playing on or around motorways.

“We are grateful to the schools in Leyland for allowing us time to talk to the children and hope parents will also remind youngsters what they need to do to stay safe.”

John Taylor, of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We endorse any initiative put up by police, primarily for police and highways.

“We probably would be there in the tragic aftermath and there’s no doubt there would be a tragic outcome from this sort of behaviour.

“We’d do whatever we could do to prevent it or dissuade anybody carrying out that potentially lethal practice.

“But as yet we’ve not seen any such incidents, but we are aware from our colleagues in police and highways that such things do happen.”