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Driving When Approaching a School Crossing Patrol

By: Simon McBride - Updated: 25 May 2021 | comments*Discuss
Driving Road School Crossing Patrol

The School Crossing Patrol Service has been an institution in the UK since 1950 and was introduced to allow children to cross Britain’s roads in a safe manner.

The introduction of the School Crossing Patrol Service was authorised by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and allowed those employed by their local authorities to help children cross the roads. The introduction of the civilian’s who were employed to do this were given the name of a lollipop lady or man as their sign to stop the traffic was in the shape of a lollipop.

The actual job description of a School Crossing Patroller is to allow children to cross the roads in a safe manner when they are making their way to and from school.

When in a vehicle and you are approaching a school crossing patrol you should slow down. This is especially important when it is a school day and at peak times for the school.

Peak Times

There are three important times when you should be extra careful, these are usually between 8am to 10am when the school day is beginning, between 12 noon and 2pm as this is lunchtime and between 3pm and 4pm as this is when the children are going home from school.

These are normally the peak times for school crossing patrols and as a warning there is usually a flashing amber light in the vicinity to warn motorists of the dangers ahead.

If you are given a command to stop by a lollipop lady or man then you must bring your vehicle to a controlled and safe halt.

By law a lollipop lady or man has the right to stop vehicles and cyclists to allow people to cross the road in a safe manner. This job has become a dangerous one in recent times and some council’s have fitted the lollipops with miniature cameras to catch motorists that abuse and threaten the school crossing patrols.

The patrols also wear high visibility clothing so that there can be no excuses for motorists saying that they cannot see them.

Don’t be one of the growing statistics that fail to stop when a lollipop man or woman displays their stop sign in the middle of the road. If you do, you could be fined a maximum of £1,000 and if you are convicted you will also receive three points on your driving licence.

Lives in Danger

Remember by not stopping you are putting the lives of the lollipop lady or man in danger plus all the schoolchildren that use that patrol to cross the road and you could face a much more serious charge of dangerous driving. A few minutes waiting is much safer than trying to get past when the patrol has started to stop the traffic.

  • If a school crossing patrol is in the middle of the road then you must stop until the lollipop lady or man has got the people safely to the other side of the road.
  • You should not move your vehicle until the patrol has safely returned to the pavement.

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@Sammy...cp's stand on kerb side to wait to cross then stand in middle of road to cross. If the stick is upright whilst they on kerbside you should be prepared to stop as that is his/her warning you he/she about to walk out... @Ruth Jennings...the cp should not have yelled at you whether she had asked you to stop or not, it's very unprofessional. Unsure if it's illegal or just unprofessional though!! @Hamy...by law CP's MUST wear high vis jacket, high vis hat and have a fully functional lollipop stick. @Confused...as soon as the CP has her stick up you must prepare to stop regardless of whether you think she has just forgotten to invert it. Better to be safe than sorry and you do not want a fine or points on your licence. @Me... yes you were in the wrong. As soon as lollipop lady is on road whether its your side or opposite you should be in the stop position. She was probably waving to get your attention and when you kept driving she shook her head. @Fuming...the cp in your area is just keeping children safe. You are supposed to stop as soon as you see the stick in the upright position. CP's will put their stick up a few seconds or maybe even 10-15 seconds before stepping off the kerb as a warning. He probably had his stick up and you didn't even notice. With regards to the helmet you shouldn't need a near miss to persuade you to get a helmet. It's personal safety.
Carrie - 25-May-21 @ 9:42 AM
If I am stopped by a patrol person (lollipop) is my child permitted to leave a vehicle when the car is net to zig zg lines?
Will - 13-Oct-20 @ 12:59 PM
Do lollipop ladies or gents have to stand in the middle of the road or kerbside
Sammy - 4-Feb-20 @ 5:02 PM
Interesting comment in the rules regarding not seeing the lollipop person as an excuse regarding visibility. A bit rich given my recent experience when the idiot that operates near me just decided to step of the kerb in front of me with out looking. How I missed him or more to the point, he missed me cycling towards him I’d a mystery. No doubt it would have been my fault. Helmet on the way now after that. An absolute menace to road users when they have operatives as incompetent as this in control of a stick.
Fuming - 16-Oct-19 @ 3:26 PM
A lolipop lady shouted thank you very sarcasticly to me as i dtove past. She was not on the road she was on the pavement on the opposite side of the rd. She hadnt in my eyes asked me to stop. Is this legal to shout at drivers for no reason?
Ruth Jennings - 22-Mar-19 @ 8:39 AM
By law, does a school crossing patrol person have to display a lollipop stop sign when stopping traffic.
Hamy - 1-Feb-19 @ 9:04 AM
I failed my test even the lollipop lady were on the road
Pat - 18-Nov-18 @ 9:46 AM
What if the patrol person is on the pavement but has forgotten to invert the sign
Confused - 21-Feb-18 @ 2:32 PM
Hiya my lollipop lady was on the road a quarter of the way on the road she waved to me which I carried on driving then as a drive away she shook her head is this a criminal offence
Me - 20-May-16 @ 5:52 PM
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