Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Road Safety Team has launched the new Stop means Stop campaign to help tackle drivers and riders who put lives at risk by ignoring instructions to stop at school crossing patrol sites.
School crossing patrol officers (lollipop men and women) have the power under the current Road Traffic Act to stop traffic. Any driver or rider who fails to do so is breaking the law.
The Stop means Stop campaign stepped up as children and young people returned to school this month. Campaign posters are on display at bus-stops, sports centres, libraries and other public buildings.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Public Protection, Waste and Transport, Councillor Tony Cox said: “Failure to obey a School Crossing Patrol STOP sign could result in a maximum fine of £1,000 plus a minimum three penalty points on your driving licence – or even worse, the death of a pedestrian.
“We want all our children to have as safe as possible journey to and from school. This campaign outlines the importance of school crossing patrols and ensures that motorists carry out their journeys in a responsible manner for the protection of all.
“Although the majority of drivers and riders respect the work carried out by the patrols, there is still a small but significant number who ignore the law, abuse the service and put the lives of children and the patrols at risk.
“Drivers are legally bound by the 1984 Road Traffic Act to stop for School Crossing Patrols, but Patrol Officers regularly have to deal with drivers who fail to stop, use abusive language and threaten patrols with physical violence.
“School Crossing Patrols do a very important job, helping to provide a safe route to and from school for children and adults.
“If your journey should take you through a patrolled area please allow an extra bit of time, slow down and be prepared and willing to stop when requested to do so by the patrol officer.”
Stop Means Stop car stickers and bugs will be distributed in schools, and posters will be displayed around the borough.