Drivers face £1,000 fine in lollipop campaign

A CAMPAIGN has been launched warning motorists who fail to stop for a school crossing patroller they could face a £1,000 fine.

Road Safety GB NE, the road safety organisation representing local authority road safety officers across the region, is targeting motorists in a campaign to make sure lollipop men and women are able to carry out their duties safely.

Around 100 Stagecoach, Go North East and Arriva buses are displaying adverts featuring the campaign’s “stop means stop” message.

This follows a series of incidents at school crossing patrol sites around the region where drivers have failed to stop even when a patroller has been crossing children.

The Mail reported in July how driver Malcolm Bowes, 51, clipped a lollipop lady and was stripped of his driving licence for 12 months and ordered to carry out work in the community.

The traffic lights had turned to red and children crossed the road as Malcolm Bowes, 51, was stuck in the middle of a crossing in Hart Lane, Hartlepool.

Unable to see the traffic lights, Bowes sounded his horn in frustration after the children had safely crossed and the lollipop lady remained in the road.

But as she pointed to the fact the lights were still on red, which Bowes was unable to see, he drove forward and nudged into the woman.

Three years ago, a spate of similar road-rage incidents led the Mail to start a Stop for the Pops campaign, which was backed by schools, parents and road safety chiefs.

Paul Watson, the chairman of Road Safety GB NE and Hartlepool Borough Council’s road safety officer, said: “There are almost 1,000 school crossing patrol sites across the region and these are used by thousands of children.

“By failing to stop for a school crossing patroller, drivers run the risk of causing a accident that could result in serious injury or even death.

“The message on the adverts is simple – stop means stop.”

Failure to stop is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1984 and offending drivers can face a £1,000 fine, three penalty points on their licence and possible disqualification.