Councils are arming school crossing patrols with a hi-tech weapon to combat acts of ‘lollipop rage’, it’s been announced.
Patrolmen and women are to receive new lollipop signs with an inbuilt camera to record rage incidents and car number plates.
The initiative follows an estimated 1,400 lollipop rage incidents reported to councils last year.
Dozens of lollipop men and women have needed hospital treatment after being hit by cars and others have complained of regular abuse and intimidation.
Typical offences include:
- driving around the patrol when they are in the road
- revving engines or sounding horns while both the patrol and children are crossing
- driving closely to the patrol
- swearing and using threatening language.
David Francis was a lollipop man in Gosport, Hampshire, until he was seriously injured in an incident last year. He is still unable to walk unaided and continues to take medication.
Number of lollipop rage incidents reported last year
He said: ‘I found being a school crossing patrol an extremely rewarding job. The children learn that they must concentrate when crossing the road, and they rely on you to help them cross safely.
‘I’m thankful every day that the children weren’t hurt, but it deeply saddens me that children saw me lying injured in the road. A few seconds earlier and the outcome could have been far worse.’
‘Lives of children at risk’
Councillor David Sparks, chairman of the Local Government Association’s transport board, said: ‘It’s unbelievable that we have to take this action, but the lives of children are at risk from increasing numbers of drivers who are so selfish that they are willing to put lives at risk by refusing to stop for 30 seconds at a school crossing.
‘Councils will do everything in their power to stamp this out. Abuse and intimidation of lollipop men and women who are carrying out a vital service to the community will also not be tolerated.
‘Motorists need to be made aware that they are committing a criminal offence and we hope this new technology will prove an effective deterrent.’