‘Respect Me’ say Buckinghamshire’s School Crossing Patrollers

Buckinghamshire Council is calling on all drivers to be respectful of the work carried out by the county’s dedicated group of school crossing patrollers.

More commonly known as lollipop men and women, Buckinghamshire’s 60 school crossing patrollers are out, come rain or shine, morning and afternoon during school term time with their trusty STOP signs, helping children and families to reach school safely. Most drivers are respectful and stop when requested, however, a small minority can be abusive and put lives at risk with dangerous manoeuvres because they don’t want to stop to let people cross safely.

Examples include drivers using abusive language, not stopping when the patroller is already standing in the road and swerving around patrollers to get past. Patrollers’ jobs are also made more difficult by drivers blocking pavements and stopping or parking in inconsiderate places to drop of children, particularly at School Keep Clear markings and bus stops.

One of the school crossing patrollers working in Aylesbury commented: “It is noticeable how some people speed up as they’re coming towards you, trying to get past. We’re not here to stop people for the fun of it, we’re here to protect the children.”

Buckinghamshire Council has relaunched its ‘Respect Me’ campaign to remind drivers to be more considerate and respectful of the valuable job school crossing patrollers do.

Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “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.

“We know that the majority of drivers are considerate, but it seems that a minority are choosing to ignore the Highway Code and could be putting lives in danger. 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.

“We hope that communities will continue to support their local patrollers to do their job safely. We need drivers to be patient and considerate – after all it’s only asking for a few seconds to ensure everyone crosses safely.”

Drivers must stop when they are shown the STOP ‘lollipop’ sign; failing to do so when requested can lead to a £1,000 fine, three penalty points and disqualification. Vehicles must also remain stationary until the pole has been lowered and the patroller is back on the pavement.

To report any incidents involving School Crossing Patrollers, residents are asked to contact:

  • Aylesbury Vale and Wycombe (West) - Corinne Randall on 01296 383 432
  • Chiltern & South Bucks and Wycombe (East) - Georgina Longley on 01494 586 639
Image of lollipop person with 'Respect me' badge printed on high vis jacket