Drivers putting lives at risk by ignoring school crossing patrols, council says

  • ITV News Meridian reporter Cary Johnston talks to an Aylesbury crossing patrol

Drivers are putting lives at risk by ignoring school crossing patrols, a local authority has said.

Buckinghamshire Council is so concerned about a reported rise in abuse experienced by lollipop men and women that it is not deploying them in pairs, to look out for one another.

The council has also relaunched the 'Respect Me' project, aiming to educate drivers on rules around school crossing patrols.

  • What are the rules around crossing patrols?

Under Rule 87 of the Highway Code, drivers must stop when asked to do so by a school crossing patrol, commonly known as a lollipop man or woman.

Failure to do so is an offence under the 1984 Road Traffic Act.

Drivers can face a fine of up £1,000, three points on their licence and even a driving ban if they fail to stop.

This crossing patrol in Aylesbury now operates in a pair because of the incidents they've dealt with.

The council said that patrollers have had to deal with drivers using abusive language, not stopping when the patroller was already standing in the road and even swerving round the patroller just to get past. 

Corporate Director for Planning, Growth and Sustainability at Buckinghamshire Council, Ian Thompson said it was disappointing that the council was having to take this action but the protection of school crossing patrollers and all those using the crossings must take priority.

"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."