Childrens lives put at risk by drivers

SCHOOLCHILDREN in Ipswich are being placed at risk because drivers are refusing to stop for a lollipop man, it was claimed today.

Neil Puffett

SCHOOLCHILDREN in Ipswich are being placed at risk because drivers are refusing to stop for a lollipop man, it was claimed today.

Robert Herring, 41, patrol officer at Murrayfield Primary School, in Nacton Road, Ipswich, said he fears both he and children could be injured by inconsiderate drivers unless action is taken.

Mr Herring, who has been working at the school since April, said many drivers completely ignore him when he moves out into the road to allow children to cross safely.

“When you put your board up and lean it into the road, cars totally ignore it, even though you are leaving them with plenty of time to stop.

“With young children around it is very dangerous.

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“You can get one week with no problems at all but then you get some weeks when two or three motorists each day will ignore it.

“When you are trying to do a job for the safety of children it gets very annoying.

“If these people have got children of their own they should understand the risks involved where there are school crossings.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said the authority is “concerned” about the lack of awareness among the general public and drivers in regarding school crossing points.

She said: “This issue has been further highlighted by recent press and TV coverage highlighting the abuse and intolerance from some drivers towards school crossing patrol officers.

“The law is quite clear - school crossing patrol officers have the power to stop traffic to assist anyone who seeks their help in crossing the road.

“Patrol officers carryout a very important role in assisting children travelling safely to and from school.”

The spokeswoman said people travelling through a patrolled should allow a little extra time, slow down and be prepared and willing to stop when requested to do so.

- Are you concerned about the safety of your child? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk