The ‘Respect Me’ campaign has been re-launched to halt abuse of School Crossing Patrollers in Buckinghamshire.
Abuse and dangerous driving at school crossing sites is increasing, according to the lollipop men and women at Buckinghamshire Council
Come rain or shine, the small army of 60 school crossing patrollers in Buckinghamshire are out morning and afternoon with their STOP signs to help children safely reach school as well as assisting adults across the road.
Sadly, a small minority of drivers are being increasingly abusive and putting lives at risk with dangerous manoeuvres because they don’t want to stop to let people cross safely.
As a result Buckinghamshire Council is relaunching its ‘Respect Me’ Campaign in an attempt to protect patrollers from rising levels of abuse, aggression and danger. This includes new coats with the slogan ‘Respect Me’ on the back and a wider campaign to educate motorists to stop when required.
Recent examples of incidents include:
- Motorists using abusive language.
- Motorists not stopping when the patroller was already standing in the road.
- Motorists swerving round the patroller just to get past.
There are also other instances where blocked pavements and inconsiderate dropping off or parking by parents, particularly at School Keep Clear markings and at Bus Stops, makes the job of the patroller more difficult to maintain safety and hinders the safe route to school.
Corporate Director for Planning, Growth and Sustainability at Buckinghamshire Council, Ian Thompson said: ‘Our lollipop men and women are valuable members of our local school communities and are well-loved and appreciated by the pupils and parents they help.
It seems some people are not aware of, or simply ignore, the Highway Code on the meaning of the position of the pole and the appropriate response from a driver. We will always have a zero-tolerance approach to behaviour which threatens the physical or mental wellbeing of our crossing patroller staff or which compromises the safety of those crossing the road.
As the roads inevitably get busier with pandemic restrictions easing, we hope that communities will continue to support their local patrollers to do their job safely. We need drivers to be patient and considerate – after all it’s only asking for a few seconds to ensure everyone crosses safely.‘
Drivers must stop when they are shown the STOP ‘lollipop’ sign, failing to do so when requested can lead to a £1,000 fine, three penalty points and disqualification. Vehicles must also stay stationary until the pole has been lowered and the patroller is back on the pavement.
Buckinghamshire Council is also on the lookout for more permanent patrollers as well as relief patrollers who can be available at short notice to stand in if someone is unable to work. Job share are always welcome.
Further information on current vacancies can be found on the Buckinghamshire Council website at www.buckscc.gov.uk/scp.
*Source of article : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.