‘Spy cameras’ for crossing patrols

Lollipop ladies (and men) have a new weapon in the battle against dangerous motorists – cameras fixed to their trademark poles.

Three school crossing patrols in Somerset are to trial the technology to combat “lollipop rage”, which flares up 1,400 times each year nationally.

Mini-cameras fixed to the lollipop pole will record clear video and sound, capturing any “reckless drivers” in the act, a council spokesman said.

The trial is taking place outside Paulton Primary School, in North East Somerset, as well as Widcombe Junior School and the Royal High School, both in Bath.

Footage of drivers ignoring school crossing patrol instructions can be used as evidence by the police for possible prosecution.

Bath and North East Somerset Council is among the first authorities in South West England to launch the new scheme, known as “Routesafe”. The initiative could be widened to other schools if successful.

There are an estimated 1,400 “lollipop rage” incidents every year, according to the Local Government Association.

Helen Tilbury, Paulton lollipop lady, said: “If drivers see a lollipop they must stop. Children’s lives are in danger if lollipop signs are ignored.

“The presence of the mini-camera will make drivers think twice before rushing past.”

Rob Stanley, Widcombe Infants and Juniors lollipop man, added: “Our patrols have little in the way of providing solid evidence that a driver has ignored the lollipop. These mini-cameras provide evidence and, hopefully, deter drivers from driving through in the first place.”

© Press Association 2010