Welcome to Road Safety Wales
Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC has recently rewarded dedicated school crossing patrol Gareth Watkins of Ynyswen with Family Tickets for the Christmas Pantomime of Aladdin.
Gareth has been a school crossing patrol for 10years and prior to this his wife Evelyn was a SCP on the same site for 22years. Gareth has gone out his way to help keep the children of Ynyswen safe when near the roadside by going into the school to give road safety presentations and highlighting his role as school crossing patrol. Gareth went to the pantomime with his wife Evelyn and 2 young neighbours Ellie and Pheobe. When asked if he enjoyed the panto Gareth replied:
“We all thought it was brilliant and Frank Vickery was fantastic”
The Road Safety Team would once again like to thank Gareth for all his hard work and dedication the service.
Motorists in Swansea are putting young children's lives at risk by failing to stop for school crossing patrols.
Swansea Council has just launched a month-long campaign called 'Stop Means Stop' in a bid get motorists to stop when patrols attempt to walk children across the road.
The Council employs dozens of school crossing patrols, more commonly known as lollipop men and women, to help young children cross busy roads during the walk to and from school.
Patrols have reported a number of near misses across the city. Gwyn Lewis helps school children walk to and from Cwmrhydyceirw Primary School in Morriston.
Mr Lewis said: "Some cars come down the road much too fast and have problems stopping in time.
"We can get a lot of abuse from drivers who don't want to stop or slow down. They only need to stop for a few seconds and at the end of the day they are stopping for the children's benefit.
"I've been in the middle of the road before now and drivers have not stopped and just driven straight past me. It can be quite scary."
The campaign is being launched just three months after a 79 year old lollipop lady was struck and killed by a bus in Ayrshire.
John Hague, Cabinet Member for the Environment in Swansea Council, said: "These men and women do a wonderful job helping children to cross roads during school time.
"I think it's appalling that some motorists think it's ok to either verbally abuse patrols or for cars not to stop when they step into the road.
"School crossing patrols have the same legal powers as police to stop traffic. And to ignore them and not stop is a criminal offence. More importantly, these selfish drivers are putting young children at risk every day.
"I would urge motorists to please be careful and stop when you see a school crossing patrol."
Carmarthenshire school crossing lady Miriam Jones has been voted as Welsh Lollipop Person of the Year.
Pupils at Ysgol Penboyr Primary School in Llandysul nominated Mrs Jones, a caretaker, who turned to helping children across the road 10 years ago when her predecessor retired.
She talked to Aled Scourfield, along with pupils and the head teacher. View the interview here
Around 45 of Pembrokeshire's Crossing Patrol Assistants have stepped out wearing newly designed uniforms supported by South Hook’s Community Investment Programme.
The County Council’s team of Crossing Assistants provide a safe crossing point for around 2000 local children on their daily journey to school. The new uniforms, of two-tone contrasting colours will enable patrol assistants to be more visible to drivers, ensuring that they stay safe whilst providing an invaluable service to communities across Pembrokeshire.
“Safety is our top priority at South Hook” says Director & General Manager, Mohammed Al Naimi. “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to support safety initiatives across Pembrokeshire that echo the South Hook ethos” he said.
Councillor Jamie Adams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Planning said the gesture was much appreciated. “We are very grateful to South Hook for their donation towards our school crossing patrols” he said.
The contrast patrol uniform is a bespoke design, developed by the leading waterproof and work-wear manufacturers, Bristol Oilskin & Overall Co.
Lollipop men and women from schools across Rhondda Cynon Taf were given the latest training and advice to help them combat the risks of the road. The awareness-raising event was organised by RCT Council’s Road Safety Unit to benefit school crossing patrol staff.
They attended the Mayor’s Chamber in the Municipal Buildings, Pontypridd, for presentations on training, occupational health, risk assessments and the latest update in their field of work.
Mayor Councillor Simon Lloyd was guest of honour and spoke at the event, as well as Councillor Andrew Morgan, Cabinet Member for Transport, Customer Care and Emergency Planning.
The school crossing patrol staff were then given the opportunity to ask questions and also air their views on the service.
Coun Morgan said: “Events such as these happen because they are very important.
“We invited all school crossing patrol staff to the Municipal Buildings so they could find out the latest information and ensure we heard their views on the service.
“I am so pleased so many were able to attend and find out more, we consider them to be very valuable members of staff who work in the community on behalf of young people come rain or shine.”
Pedestrian and Motorist Advice given on the day included:
Stop means stop – motorists must stop when signalled to do so by a school crossing patrol and it is an offence under the Road Traffic Act not to obey the STOP sign.
Patrols are trained never to hold up traffic for longer than is absolutely necessary, but motorists must be patient with them, as they will always wait until the last pedestrian has reached the opposite pavement before they leave their position.
Remember the Patrol needs time to get back safely to their side of the road as well, so please don’t pull away too quickly.
The School Crossing Patrol, when on duty, is there for everyone, young or old, that might wish to cross the road at the patrol point.
A safety campaign is being launched in Carmarthenshire to help protect school crossing patrol officers. Because there have been an increased number of incidents involving motorists failing to stop for lollipop men and women, the county’s road safety unit is launching a ‘Stop Means Stop’ campaign.
It is targeted at drivers to highlight the importance of stopping when they see the lollipop sign brandished by patrols outside schools.
Starting in May, to coincide with the new school term, the “Stop Means Stop” initiative is aimed at drivers who fail to stop or are rude and abusive to school crossing patrols.
Last month a 32-year-old Llanelli woman driver was given five penalty points on her driving licence with penalties totalling £335 for driving without due care and attention when passing a lollipop lady in Llandeilo Road, Llandybie.
The campaign is also designed to remind drivers of the legal and personal consequences of failing to stop for school crossing patrols.
Motorists are legally bound by the 1984 Road Traffic Act to stop for school crossing patrols. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £1,000, a minimum of three penalty points or disqualification from driving.The campaign will be backed up with radio advertising school banners, posters and leaflets.
County road safety manager Keith Griffiths said: “School crossing patrol officers play a vital role by ensuring school children are provided with a safe route to and from school. They should be able to do this without fear of intimidation and threatening behaviour from inconsiderate motorists.
“The school crossing patrol team are among the most committed group of people that continue to play a very important role in keeping our community a safe and friendly place. The message is quite simple. All road users must stop when a school crossing patrol officer asks them to do so.
“Drivers should allow a little extra journey time if their route takes them through a patrolled area - and be prepared to slow down and stop when requested to do so by a patrol officer."
School crossing patrols were established in the UK in 1954 to assist children cross the road on their way to or from school safely. The famous ‘lollipop stick’ was designed so that details of a vehicle which failed to stop for the school crossing patrol could be chalked on the black panel on the stick head. These details were then forwarded to the local police for them to progress.
Today, every school crossing patrol officer is issued with a notebook to record detailed information about any motorist that fails to stop or continues to drive by when it is obvious that the patrol officer has asked them to stop from the side of the road.
They are encouraged to make a note of the registration number, make, model and colour of vehicle, time of the incident and gender of the driver. Whilst the method may have changed in recent times, the information is still forwarded onto Dyfed Powys Police so they can take appropriate action.
A Llanelli woman who failed to stop when a Lollipop Llady was helping a school pupil to cross the road has received penalties totaling £335. She was also given five penalty points on her driving licence.
Karen Williams, of Swiss Valley, Llanelli, pleaded guilty to Ammanford Magistrates on March 4th 2010 for driving without due care and attention when passing a School Crossing in Llandeilo Road, Llanybie.
The 32-year-old was travelling along the road near Llandybie CP School when she committed the offence. Lollipop Lady Nan Samsudeen had clearly displayed her stop sign and was helping pupils to cross the road. But Williams failed to acknowledge the sign and continued to drive along the road putting the Crossing Patrol Officer and children at risk.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Road Safety Team supported Dyfed Powys Police in prosecuting Williams for contravening Crossing Patrol regulations.
Magistrates fined Williams £235 with additional costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £15, also imposing five penalty points on her driving licence.
Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for Transport and Environment Cllr Haydn Jones said: “Child safety is of paramount importance and as a county we will not tolerate motorists ignoring Crossing Patrol Officers when they are carrying out this vital role within the community.
“Failing to stop at a crossing not only endangers the patrol but puts children and other adults at risk. This case demonstrates that we will not hesitate to take action against any individual who fails to stop when a School Crossing Patrol officer asks them to do so.”
County Road Safety Manager Keith Griffiths said: “When you see a School Crossing Patrol officer step into the road ahead of you displaying the Stop sign, you must stop to allow people to cross the road (Rule 87 of the Highway Code).
The law is quite specific. It is an offence under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 if you do not stop when signaled to do so by a School Crossing officer.
• A fine of up to £1,000
• A minimum of three points on your driving licence, or even
Drivers should always stop a safe distance away from the Crossing Patrol.
After people have crossed the road, drivers must not move off until the Patrol Officer has returned to the pavement and signaled them to do so.
Drivers should take special care when near schools, even if there is no Crossing Patrol in operation.
Rule 184 of the Highway Code says:
“Near Schools. Drive slowly and be particularly aware of young cyclists and pedestrians. In some places, there may be a flashing amber signal below the 'School' warning sign, which tells you that there may be children crossing the road ahead.”
Drivers are being warned to respect school crossing patrols or face the consequences. The call comes from Anglesey County Council's Road Safety Team after a motorist was prosecuted for failing to stop for a school 'lollipop lady'.
The man, who drove past the school crossing attendant as she helped a group of children cross the road, recently pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention.
Holyhead Magistrates gave him three penalty points on his licence, a £65 fine and also ordered him to pay £65 costs.
Anglesey's Road Safety Officer, William Hughes, stressed, "Motorists are committing a criminal offence if they fail to stop when a school crossing attendant is in the highway displaying a STOP sign."
"This particular incident left the attendant shaken and upset and we welcome the prosecution by North Wales Police. Unfortunately, this sort of incident is more common than you'd think with some motorists becoming irate and abusive if they have to stop for the crossing patrol."
The Isle of Anglesey County Council employs 19 school crossing attendants who all carry out a very important role in safeguarding our children's safety. School crossing attendants, with their instantly recognisable 'lollipop' STOP signs, help children cross many of the Island's busiest roads on their way to and from school.
Highways portfolio holder, Councillor Eurfryn Davies, urged drivers to show consideration and respect at all times, especially when approaching a school.
He added, "Incidents like these are a real concern. A driver's failure to stop when an attendant is in the middle of the road could lead to a serious road traffic accident involving young children. I hope this successful prosecution sends a clear message to all drivers that this sort of behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated on Anglesey."
A Pembrokeshire school crossing patrol officer has been presented with a major road safety award. Sandra Howells has been patrolling the road outside Holy Name Primary School in Fishguard for 28 years!
At this year's Road Safety Wales Conference in Caernarvon, Sandra was presented with a Chevron-sponsored Road Safety Wales Award in recognition of her long service. The grandmother from Goodwick was nominated for the award by Pembrokeshire County Council's Road Safety Unit and by Holy Name pupils.
As well as helping pupils cross the road, Sandra also promotes her road safety role in the classroom and in the wider community.
Councillor Huw George, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said generations of children attending Holy Name had benefited from Sandra's reassuring presence outside the school.
"Our Lollipop men and women are often taken for granted yet their play a key role in keeping our children safe going to and from school" he said.
"Sandra is regarded as a highly valued member of staff by the school and by the Council. She thoroughly deserves her award."
Sandra is pictured with Holy Name's Junior Road Safety Officers along with Jeanette John of the Road Safety Unit and Councillor Huw George.
The Vale of Glamorgan council is calling on motorists to be courteous to school crossing patrol officers, better known to generations of school children as their lollipop lady or lollipop man.
Cabinet member for planning and transportation, Cllr Jeff James, said: "On today’s busy roads, it takes special qualities to step out and stop traffic and keep the attention of children until they have crossed safely, and to come to the aid of anybody who needs help crossing. Most drivers are courteous and patient while school crossing patrol officers carry out their duties, but there are increased instances of dangerous driving and threatening behaviour towards our lollipop men and ladies."
The council says examples of threatening behaviour have included:
The council’ s message to all road-users is clear; when a school crossing patrol officer (SCP) steps into the road, displaying the ‘STOP’ sign, drivers must stop to allow people to cross the road.
It is an offence under the Road Traffic Regulation Act (1984) not to stop when signalled to do so by a school crossing patrol. Along with the police and traffic wardens, they are the only groups of people who are legally allowed to stop traffic on the road .
If you do not stop, the possible penalties include:
- a fine of up to £1,000
- three penalty points on your licence
- disqualification from driving
You should always stop a safe distance away from the SCP and after people have crossed the road, you must not move off until the SCP has returned to the pavement and signalled you to do so.
Council road safety officer, John Rogers, said: "Drivers should always take special care when driving near schools, even if there is no crossing patrol in operation, and try, if possible, to avoid certain busy times of day when children are going to or coming out of school.
"School crossing patrol officers perform a vital duty ensuring that children and other pedestrians can cross safely when walking to and from school."
School crossing patrols in Swansea have been kitted out with new uniforms after the service received sponsorship.
Swansea Highways Partnership, which is made up of Swansea Council, Hansons Contracting and Alun Griffiths Contractors(Ltd) has purchased the specialist all weather kit.
The kind gesture will help keep Swansea's hard working team of school crossing patrols warm and dry throughout the year as they help thousands of school children safely cross roads to and from school. 95 brand new all weather coats have been purchased for the city's patrols.
Jamie Bowen, Business Improvement Manager, with Swansea Highways Partnership said, "We are delighted to be involved in helping Swansea's school crossing patrols stay safe and do their job keeping children in particular safe on our roads.
"They do a marvellous job and yet people too easily forget the importance of their role in making roads safer for people to cross.
"I am sure that their role is rewarding while at times extremely stressful, but there is no doubt it is extremely worthwhile.
"As we work to help improve highways and road safety in Swansea through our own contracts it will be nice to see the crossing patrols playing their role in a uniform designed to their own specifications and I am glad we have been able to contribute in this way."
Joanne Davies, Swansea Council's School Crossing Patrol Officer said, "I'm thrilled that the partnership has contributed to the costs of funding this valuable service.
"Our School Crossing Patrols do an excellent job, in all types of weather for the sake of the childrens safety. We really appreciate the support we have been given and are very grateful."
The Swansea Highway Partnership is a four-year partnership, worth up to £20m, will deliver greater efficiency and more effective planning of highway improvements through closer integration and team working.
Around twice as many people have applied to be lollipop men and women in Cardiff in the past two months as during the same time last year. Cardiff Council said it has had around 20 applications a month since March - bucking the recent UK trend of a lack of interest in the job.
It said it does not know the reason but speculated it could be because of current financial pressures. But it still has 30 vacancies to fill for the £6 an hour job.
Denise Cummings, who has been a lollipop lady to thousands of children for 22 years, encouraged others to join her.
"It's fantastic to see the children smile in the morning and hear what they've done in the school holidays," she said.
"When they leave primary school they come back and tell me what they are doing in secondary school, which is really very satisfying. For me, it's been incredibly rewarding to help the community I live in for so long."
Cardiff Council's road safety unit said many local authorities across the UK are struggling to fill vacancies so it is not sure why there has been a sudden jump in people applying in Cardiff.
It said it could be because of "financial pressure or a desire to do something different in a changing climate".
As well as the £6 hourly rate, crossing patrols are paid a retainer fee in school holidays. However, despite a number of vacancies being filled in the first part of the year, many pupils still remain without help to cross the road. The council is still trying to fill a number of posts in Birchgrove, Cardiff Bay, Ely, Grangetown, Lakeside, Rumney, St Melons, Thornhill and Whitchurch.
Ms Cummings, who works outside Herbert Thomson Primary in Ely, who has recently won a council award for her hard work and long service, said: "I would encourage anyone to be a school crossing patrol person.
"During my time I've seen the children I've helped grow up and start their own families, who I also help get safely to school. The job keeps me active too, which must be positive for my health and wellbeing."
Dave Evans, Cardiff Council's road safety manager, said the authority would train those interested in the job.
"Every patrol I speak to tells me about the satisfaction and fulfilment they get from helping children safely across the road," he said.
"It's not an easy job but we provide training and by law, traffic must stop when patrols request it to."
Motorists are putting the lives of young children at risk by failing to stop for school crossing patrols.
A number of complaints have been made by some of the patrols relating to careless and dangerous driving near local schools.
The patrols, better known as lollypop men and women, are employed by Swansea Council and help hundreds of school children cross busy roads to and from local schools.
However, the dangerous driving by some is putting lives of children and patrols at risk and further claims have been made that the main culprits are parents dropping their children off at school.
Gladys Spencer has patrolled a well-used crossing point in Gorseinon for a number of years and says she's had many near misses with cars travelling along the route.
Gladys said: "Many drivers just don't think to stop when they are coming towards me. It happens quite regularly and tends to include parents dropping off their children at school.
"I've talked to other patrols in Swansea and they're having the same problems with drivers. Most will happily slow down if they see a uniformed police officer but unfortunately they don't view us in the same way."
Joanne Davies, Swansea Council's School Crossing Patrol Coordinator, is concerned that the selfish attitude of motorists could result in a child getting injured or even killed.
Mrs Davies said: "I'm alarmed by the number of complaints I have received from School Crossing Patrols in Swansea. Our patrols perform an invaluable role by keeping schoolchildren safe when they are crossing busy roads in Swansea.
"Motorists need to treat these patrols with respect and think more about their actions when approaching them in their vehicles. It's very likely children will also be nearby and this is even more a reason for drivers to act responsibly.
"Our patrols will be recording the number plates of any drivers who are failing to stop or driving dangerously and we will be passing the details on to local police.
"What motorists may not realise is that they are breaking the law by failing to stop and are risking the lives of young children."
The 1953 School Crossing Patrol Act allows people other than police officers to stop traffic. The Act makes provision for school crossing patrol personnel to be trained by local authorities and for them to have the authority to stop traffic when they are wearing the approved uniform and carrying the correct stop sign.
The Road Traffic Act 1984 makes it an offence for a driver not to stop when signalled to do so by a School Crossing Patrol. If you fail to stop you will be reported to the police and the possible penalties include a fine up to £1000, three penalty points or disqualification.
And remember stop means stop.
A dedicated school crossing patrol will be leaving her lollipop at home to rub shoulders with Gordon Brown. Denise Cummings, 61, a lollipop lady for Herbert Thompson Primary School, in Plymouthwood Road, Ely, Cardiff, has been invited to 10 Downing Street for a special community reception.
The grandmother of three was invited to the event alongside other people who make a difference in their communities after being nominated by Cardiff West MP, Kevin Brennan.
She said: “I feel sick – I’m not just nervous, I’m petrified! But it is great to be nominated because it’s not just for me, I’m representing all the children, mums, dads and grampies in Ely.I love my job to bits. I wouldn’t do anything else. If they told me they couldn’t pay me, I’d do it anyway voluntarily."
“When they heard I was going to Downing Street, all the children said ‘well done Miss’, but I said ‘no, it’s down to you’ – because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have a job. I love what I do. It’s fantastic to see all their smiles in the morning and hear about what they’ve done in the holidays. And when they’ve left school, they come back and tell me what they’re doing. It’s great.”
The lollipop legend, was named Road Safety Wales’ School Crossing Patrol of the Year in 2008.
Denise will be accompanied to Downing Street by her husband Rob, and Mr Brennan, who plans to tell the Prime Minister about the valuable contribution she had made to families in Ely.
He said: “Mrs Cummings is a very popular and much loved person within Ely and she fully deserves this recognition for everything she has done within the community.
“I have spoken to a number of people within my constituency, who all speak very highly of the work Mrs Cummings has carried out over years and continues to carry out to this day.”
“What Do You Think of Your Lolly Pop Lady?” could have been the theme for this activity.
Foundation Phase pupils at Govilon were more than equal to the task of voicing their opinions. Backed up with artwork they paid tribute to their very own School Crossing Patrol, Annette Lumpkin.
“Sweet” and “Kind” were adjectives used repeatedly to describe someone who is there to help them in all weathers.
Dannie-Lee Watkins (Reception) and Sian Holton (Year One) secured a joint first prize for their accomplishments. Both Dannie and Sian bravely read out their poems in front of the whole school.
The Reverend Dr. Peter Baines, the local Baptist Minister and Mrs Abigail Davies (School Travel Plan Co-ordinator) presented Dannie and Sian with bright yellow Road Safety bags filled with goodies in a special assembly.
Sian Holton and Dannie-Lee Watkins with the Rev Dr Peter Baines and Abigail Davies
School Crossing Patrols across Carmarthenshire have a new hi viz look.
Drivers will be seeing red – as well as fluorescent yellow so there will be no excuse for not seeing them.
The new issue uniforms to School Crossing Patrols, is part of a major drive by the County Council to keep children safe outside school gates. From the end of this month the Patrols will wear two-toned coats of red and yellow instead of the traditional all yellow coats.
The new uniforms are complimented by reflective chevrons on the body and on the arms of the coat.
County Road Safety Manager Keith Griffiths said “School Crossing Patrols play an important and key role in ensuring that children cross the roads safely on their way to and from school. He said: “These colourful uniforms will make them more visible to motorists.
“The red incorporated in the design will help drivers see Patrols in low light or sun glare and help distinguish lollipop men and women from other people wearing fluorescent jackets.”
County Executive Board Member for Transport and Engineering, Councillor Haydn Jones, said: “Thanks to all our School Crossing Patrols more children make their way safely to school. It’s healthier for them and the environment as it cuts down on the so-called ‘school run’ of cars ferrying pupils to class,
“The School Crossing Patrols across Carmarthenshire provide a vital service safeguarding thousands of children in the county on their journey to and from school. Their commitment is remarkable.
“I am really pleased with the new look hi viz wear. They not only look good but they have the added safety feature of a new colour.
“There is no excuse for drivers saying they can’t see our patrols now.”
A new hi- tech monitoring camera system brings the school crossing patrol lollipop into the 21st century.
Find out more....
There are over 50 school crossing patrol officers in Pembrokeshire. They range in age from 24 to 72 and in length of service from a few months to 35 years. They patrol crossings across the County from Solva to Saundersfoot and Lamphey to Letterston.
Whatever the weather, this group of dedicated men and women ensure that Pembrokeshire children cross the road safely on their way to and from school.
Now the Council’s Road Safety Unit is urging everyone to support their local crossing officer by taking special care on the roads around schools - especially where patrols are located.
“School crossing patrol officers carry out a valuable service on our increasingly busy roads, “ said Jeanette John of the Road Safety Unit.
“Although they are primarily there to help children, they can assist anyone who seeks their help when they are on duty at their designated location.”
“When a patrol displays their stop sign motorists must stop, in accordance with the Road Traffic Act 1988. Failure to do so could result in a fine and/or penalty points.”
She said parents, who had the ultimate responsibility for ensuring their child’s safety, could help patrols by:
- Teaching their child to wait on the pavement and follow instructions
- Teaching them to cross in front of the patrol
- Ensuring they parked well away from the patrol as patrol officers needed to see and be seen by approaching traffic
- Reducing their speed on the road and be ready to stop
- And above all, by being patient - a child’s life could be at stake
Swansea Council has issued an urgent appeal to community spirited residents to help fill the gaps in the School Crossing Patrol Service. Twenty five schools in the city and county are facing a shortage of the vital road safety staff that patrol outside school gates and help pupils to cross busy roads.
In years gone by the officers have been more commonly known as 'lollipop' men or women and have guided children young and old across main roads. Recently, a national problem with recruiting staff to take up the role is leading to huge gaps in the service and there are concerns that children could be put at risk.
Joanne Davies, the Council's School Crossing Patrol Co-ordinator said, "We are doing everything we can to encourage individuals to join the service but we still have a large number of vacancies at schools throughout Swansea. The role of the School Crossing Patrol Officer is a hugely valued position within communities. We currently have 29 posts that we want to fill."
John Hague, Cabinet Member for the Environment said, "The Council and local schools are doing what they can to help educate children about safe use of roads. However, we need the cooperation of residents in the community to help fill these vacant posts and provide safe crossing arrangements for everyone going to school."
Cardiff Council produced the first edition of 'School Crossing Patrol Matters' in the summer of 2007. This newsletter provides all patrols in Cardiff with useful and informative information about the service. Click here to view the newsletter.