Local authorities in Ireland are considering allowing school crossing patrols (SCPs) to use hidden cameras as part of a scheme designed to expose bad driving outside schools.
The ‘lolli-cop’ scheme, which will initially be piloted by two Irish authorities, will see SCPs kitted out with camera technology on their stop signs.
The decision was made at a meeting last week (15 Sept) at which road safety officers from across the country discussed the challenges facing SCPs.
The pilots will take place in County Mayo and County Kildare, at sites which have been described as ‘problematic’.
The cameras, which will be used at different locations throughout the duration of the trial, are activated by the warden and pointed at the offending car to record the number plate. The video footage could be used to prosecute in cases of dangerous and careless driving.
To mark the start of the trial, signs are being erected at the approach to participating schools to inform road users that CCTV is in operation in the area.
The team behind the initiative says that despite regular safety messages some ‘selfish’ motorists do not respect the law and stop when signaled to do so. They add that the CCTV scheme has been launched following a number of incidents in which motorists have assaulted SCps or ignored their demands to stop.
Noel Gibbons, Mayo’s road safety officer, said: “SCPs play a vital role in ensuring children are provided with a safe route to and from the school. They should be able to do this without fear of intimidation and threatening behaviour from inconsiderate motorists."
Declan Keogh, road safety officer in Kildare, added: "The school wardens are acting in the interests and of the safety of our children, which is a very good thing.
"Motorists should be more aware of the crossing locations in their area and show a bit more courtesy towards the school warden and young children so that incidents such as these are not caused which will of course prevent any child or warden from being injured or worse.”