School crossing guards join CCTV panlollycon
Lollicams for all
School crossing guards, known as lollipop ladies (or men) in the UK because of the signs they carry, are getting digital video cameras to provide evidence against the increasing numbers of drivers who ignore or abuse them.
The Local Government Association said there were 1,400 incidents of lollipop rage reported to local councils last year. Dozens of lollipop ladies have needed hospital treatment after being hit by cars.
Offences include driving past crossing guards when they're in the road, revving engines, or honking horns and verbal abuse. Lollipop ladies are now trained to deal with confrontations with angry drivers. Lack of evidence means very few cases end up in court.
The school crossing sign, when it is upright, has the same legal status as a red stop light but is often ignored by drivers. A British company, Routesafe Ltd, has fitted the signs with two cameras, one facing each way, and digital recorders. The kit adds only 400 grams to the sign's weight - important because many lollipop ladies are elderly.
Lee Fairbrother, product manager for Routesafe monitor, told the Reg: "I never realised this was a problem until we were asked to investigate it by a council which didn't like the headcams it was using. Since we started looking at it last August I've spoken to so many people about the problem - one council had so many 'drive-throughs' that it no longer even reports them to the police."
Fairbrother said: "The camera is activated when the lollipop is in the vertical position - when it is a legal instrument. We only launched them at the end of February but five councils have bought them already and another 150 have put money aside for them."
The lollipop-cams cost £890.
The first lollicams go out to councils next month and most are ordering just a few which can be shared around as a deterrent. ®
You only get ...
10 points for old people, don't you? And a lot more for kids, being more agile and able to jump out the way quicker?
Stop Childran Crossing
"Stop Childran Crossing" - oh you mean that it was a warning rather than a command?
Here I've been trying to stop them crossing by revving, honking, driving past closely and the little buggers were still crossing. Doh!
Next you'll be telling me that "Adults Only" on dvds doesn't mean that they are the only ones I'm allowed to rent/buy...
Something else they do out here better than the UK - every school has a copper stationed outside the entrance when the kids are arriving and leaving. And I mean a real copper, complete with handcuffs and gun, not some ridiculous CSO like they would use in the UK. Funnily enough nobody tries to drive past when he or she is standing in the middle of the road, no abuse, and all with no cameras ;-)