School crossings – a cut too far?

A news item this morning brought more worrying news for some schools. Apparently, some councils are considering getting rid of school crossing patrols or lollypop men and women to you and me,  in a bid to save some money. Having been the head of a school that needed four such bodies, I was rather concerned. 

Lollypop Lady - via Google Image

‘The Lollypop’ has for decades been an integral part of the school community. Their bright uniforms not only help to keep children safe when they cross the road but also provide a friendly face before the youngsters go through the gates. For some children, worried about school, they can make the difference between attendance and going back home. I was able to use the information gathered ‘on the crossing’ to get a bigger picture of the children’s lives. Often a piece of the jigsaw would come to light as parents and children crossed.

Obviously, the main purpose of the school crossing patrol is to keep children safe. A representative of Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSOPA http://www.rospa.com/roadsafety/ ) said that some crossings could be removed as they were still in ‘historic’ places rather than where need is greatest.

Among the statistics quoted were the figures for accidents caused on crossings near schools. Those without a Lollypop were 809 in 2009 while those with attendants were only 35. Good evidence you may say to maintaining these roles. A head teacher interviewed said he hoped to be able to employ his crossing patrol if they were to be cut by the council. There were even teachers shown doing the duty!

However, surely this is missing the point?  There are crossings with whites lines, flashing beacons and advanced notice to warn drivers of a school near-by. The majority of our schools are in built-up areas which are adopting 20mph speed limits. So why are drivers not following the rules of the road?  Why are they breaking the law? Why does it need a person in bright yellow to remind them not to travel at 50pmh plus?

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4 comments

  • The lollipop lady at our school is a friend. She’s the mum of a child in my son’s class. The crossing point is not on a zebra crossing so unless LCC were to put on in, it would be EXTREMELY dangerous not to have them there. She is actually “employed” by our school so fits in with our school hours but there is a Catholic primary whose car park exit is on the road opposite so she effectively looks after two schools but is not there when they finish as they close 15 mins earlier than us.

    She has had her own issues in the year she has been doing it. People get very het up about having to stop for lollipop ladies – in the mornings, you’ve obviously got commuter traffic mixed in with school traffic so I guess people are running late, can’t control their anger and take it out on her. She’s not had anything too aggressive but she has had people shout obscenities or gesticulate at her. Ridiculous really. The problem is, some people are SO selfish sometimes and yes, they do need someone in a yellow jacket to remind them of their responsibilities. If we could change attitudes fully, we wouldn’t need them. But we do.

      

    • Anonymous

      I can’t understand the problem some drivers have. Thet know the school is there. If it is such a problem, perhaps they should go another way! Thanks for commenting Kate!

        

  • We have a fab and much commended lollypop lady-Pat. Recently we had to get police involved as motorists were swearing at her, being really abusive and even almost running her over. How sad is that! That’s the thanks she gets for freezing out in the cold twice a day. 🙁

      

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