Road safety mannequins cause controversy

12.00 | 4 September 2017 | | 2 comments

A new road safety initiative which has seen mannequin-style figures placed outside local schools in Buckinghamshire has been met with a mixed reaction. (Daily Telegraph)

The bollards, known as Bill and Belinda, have been installed by Iver District Council as a deterrent to speeding drivers. More than half a dozen have been erected at a cost of almost £5,400 in an effort to make drivers think a child is crossing the road.

The initiative, which has also featured on the BBC News website, has received support from the RAC – but some local residents have hit out at the figures, calling them an ‘eyesore’ and potentially hazardous.

Resident Alison Major told the Daily Telegraph: “They look awful, they should have been a normal traffic bollard. They will be knocked over in no time or defaced with graffiti.

“When people know that it’s just a bollard they will just continue as normal as they get used to them so when a child does step out the potential for them to get hit is still there.”

Luisa Sullivan, the Buckinghamshire County Councillor who is responsible for the initiative, said: “I think we really need to experiment with our options.

“Whilst they may not look pretty, they have minimal facial appearances as to not distract drivers, they are merely supposed to resemble school children and just make drivers think.

“We also have a number of parents who mount the kerb at the school, and these bollards can act as a deterrent to this, maybe that is causing annoyance, but I think that if they make the school area safer they should only be seen as a good thing.”

Rod Dennis, RAC spokesman, told the Daily Telegraph that if the scheme is proven to be successful in encouraging drivers to slow down they should be seen as a positive move.

He said: "Regardless of their aesthetics, these bollards are likely to catch the eye of drivers and send a clear messages that young children will be walking in the area.”

Category: Speed, Children.



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    What a good idea that has given me. Life size replicas of a police oficer positioned at strategic places. Gives a new meaning to the words plastic bobbies.. Oh wait a minute……… sorry we already have them. Well even CPOs can be useful.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    As the article quotes, there is a risk that as they get used to the child shaped bollards some drivers will just continue as normal so when a real child does step out, the potential for them to get hit is still there. However the level of risk of that unintended consequence happening is relatively small. If those in road safety only implemented new ideas that were completely risk free, then not much at all would be done.

    This is a sensible, simple idea and needs time to see if it does any good, without much risk of doing harm. I would like to read a summary on their effectiveness (or otherwise) once they have been installed for at least a year.

    Pat, Wales
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