AVON and Somerset Police and Somerset's High Sheriff have team up to improve road safety near schools in the county.

The force received £4,441.20 from The High Sheriff of Somerset Charitable Trust to buy 20 parking buddies to be placed outside schools in west and east Somerset.

The models are usually placed outside schools on the road as reminders to motorists to slow down near places frequented by children.

Somerset East Neighbourhood Inspector Julie Denny said: “Across east Somerset, we receive numerous reports of inconsiderate and dangerous driving around schools from both the public and schools.

“The parking buddies display signs which encourage parents and visitors to think and be considerate when driving around schools - a method which has been successful in other areas of the force in the past.

“We hope these buddies will make our roads safer for our young children.

"It only takes one motorist to drive irresponsibly for a child to end up with serious injuries or worse.”

Police are placing the buddies outside schools and will then rotate them around the area.

If the initial rollout is successful, it is hoped more funding will be secured for future buddies.

The High Sheriff’s Charitable Trust considers applications from across Somerset for initiatives which promote a safer Somerset.

High Sheriff Jennifer Duke said: “One simple thing can often make a big difference and the High Sheriff of Somerset Trust is delighted to support Avon and Somerset Police in tackling anti-social parking and speeding outside local schools.”

The trust is funded by local benefactors and fundraising efforts.

Somerset County Council is in support of the efforts of the police and the High Sheriff.

A council spokesperson said: “We are very pleased to support the use of parking buddies outside Somerset schools, where they are used to emphasise the need to park safely and drive slowly while children are in the area.

"The use of the buddies are a vital reminder to consider the safety of children travelling to and from school.”

The traffic buddies are just one of the ways police are working to make our roads safe.

Other road safety work being carried out in the area include regular speed checks, and working with Speedwatch and the local council on other traffic calming measures.