Alarming rise in drivers ignoring and abusing ‘Lollypop’ people

Lollypop plea.
Lollypop plea.

Disturbing reports of drivers ignoring School Crossing Patrol officers and shouting abuse at them have been reported by West Sussex County Council.

One ‘lollypop’ lady has spoken of her shock after a motorist injured her by not stopping as she helped a child cross the road.

The woman had her lollipop stick broken in two when the car failed to stop for her at her patrol.

The accident left her with an aching arm and is symptomatic of an alarming rise in ‘drive throughs’ at school crossing patrols reported to West Sussex County Council in recent months.

She has revealed motorists drive through her patrol when she is in the road “two or three times a day”.

She said: “I was with a young lad - I had the stick in one hand and I was waving at the driver saying ‘stop! Stop!’”

“It wrenched my arm. I think it caught on the wing mirror and it took my arm with it.

“The day I had that accident I had a lot of drivers stopping and they could not believe a car had knocked my stick off.

“They were really incredulous that it had happened. They couldn’t believe it.”

The driver stopped down the road, but didn’t come back to speak to her.

It is an offence to drive past a SCP while they are in the road.

If caught they will receive a fine and three points on their licence if caught - the same offence they would get driving through a red light.

Another issue School Crossing Patrol officers have to put up with on a regular basis is verbal abuse from drivers.

County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Pieter Montyn, said: “It is alarming to hear from our School Crossing Patrols that people are ignoring them when they step out in the road to help people cross.

“People have to understand.

“If they are caught driving through school crossing patrols they will be prosecuted – the safety of our children is paramount.”

He added: “School crossing patrols are vital to keep children safe when they cross the road – please respect them.

“There is no excuse for any kind of abuse.”