Caught on camera! Schools encouraged to use footage to improve safety at crossings

Summerlea School




Chichester schools have been told they should consider body cameras for lollipop ladies and men to try to improve safety for pupils and their families.

West Sussex County Council’s school crossing patrol team, working in conjunction with Sussex Police, encourages schools to use body cameras to deter “drive throughs” and abusive behaviour outside school gates.

The cameras are worn across the chest to capture audio and video of motorists driving dangerously, or being abusive towards patrols as they help children and parents across the road. If footage is captured of an offence, it is passed to the police to consider as evidence for possible prosecution.

The initiative has come to light after a West Sussex school hopes a new crossing patrol camera will encourage inconsiderate motorists to think about their driving speeds.

Summerlea Community Primary in Rustington is the latest school in the county to trial the body camera to try to improve safety for pupils and their families.

Assistant head teacher Karla Strong said: “We are hoping that it will make drivers slow and think carefully about their actions on a very busy stretch of Worthing Road. Joan, our crossing patrol lady, is a valued member of our community who knows all the children and their families very well.

“On occasions she has been subjected to some near misses and we want to ensure that both she and our families are safe – something our school travel plan team always strives for. We would also like to thank our parent teacher group, Friends Of Summerlea School, for funding the camera.”

It is an offence to drive past a school crossing patrol when they are in the road and If caught, the offender will receive a fine and three points on their licence – the same they would receive for driving through a red light

The camera records every shift a school crossing patrol works and if nothing of note happens, the memory card is wiped. West Sussex County Council puts up temporary signs outside the school warning offending motorists they are on camera.

Anyone interested in arranging a camera for a school crossing patrol outside their school can contact Louise Bishop on 033022 26744 or email [email protected]

Picture: Head teacher Helen Morris crosses the road with members of the school’s Travel Plan team. They are being guided by Joan, who is wearing the new body camera.

 




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Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son. And he is a life-long Arsenal fan.