Innovative "lollycam" scheme set up to encourage motorists to drive safely


Arron Evans

A lollipop man will become the first in Gwynedd to be issued with a body camera – in an effort to encourage motorists to drive sensibly outside a primary school.

The move follows concerns during recent months among staff, parents and pupils at Ysgol y Garnedd in Ffordd Penrhos, Bangor over some motorists’ attitude towards the school crossing patrol wardens.

Gwynedd Council’s road safety team and police officers have been monitoring the situation and have now decided to issue crossing warden Arwel Owen with the camera.

The hope is that it will gather evidence of irresponsible driving that can be passed on to police.

Cllr Dafydd Meurig, Gwynedd Council’s cabinet member who leads on transport matters, said: “The majority of motorists respect the important work that school crossing patrol staff carry out by helping children to walk to and from school at the start and end of each day.

But in some instances, a small number of motorists can be thoughtless and ignore the school crossing patrol staff when they step out into the road to help children to cross.

”This obviously is a concern. Our hope is that this pilot scheme will raise awareness of the need to respect school crossing patrol staff and the important work they do.”

Mr Owen, said: “The majority of people slow down and stop when I step out to the road to help children to cross, but there are a few who think they have a right to ignore and drive on.

“I hope that this scheme is a way of making sure that every car stops. The important thing is the safety of the children.”

Llion Williams, headteacher at the 400-pupil Welsh medium school, said: “The situation has been a concern for us for some time whilst trying to protect pupils, staff and parents as they cross the road at the beginning and end of the school day.

“We welcome the new camera in order to record any instances of drivers ignoring the highway code.

“We look forward to working with officers from the police and Gwynedd Council’s road safety team to ensure that everyone who crosses the road can do so safely.”

Insp Dave Cust from North Wales Police’s roads policing unit, said: “The poor attitude to road safety around schools displayed by a small number of drivers is concerning and I’d like to encourage road users to treat everybody with respect and not to endanger other people.

“If people know there is a much bigger chance of being prosecuted and risk losing their licence then maybe they’ll think twice about committing these offences.”

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