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back to article School crossing guards join CCTV panlollycon

School crossing guards, known as lollipop ladies (or men) in the UK because of the signs they carry, are getting digital video cameras to provide evidence against the increasing numbers of drivers who ignore or abuse them. The Local Government Association said there were 1,400 incidents of lollipop rage reported to local …

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OH fantastic

Just what we need - more CCTV cameras - oh this is good news - before now there was a 100 metre stretch between me and the town centre where Big Brother couldn't watch me picking my nose or committing other thought crimes. Thank you, government.

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Stop

What really gripes me is....

When I were a lad, lollipop ladies were stationed at places it was difficult for school pupils to cross and where there were no other means of crossing the road.

It gripes me (much to the continued chagrin of my wife) that nowadays these people are stationed on pelican crossings, or at crossings which have pedestrian traffic light controls.

What is the point of that?

Furthermore, if they have to be stationed at these ludicrous points, why oh why oh why do they then help adults who have dropped their kids off at school cross the road? Are these people not capable of operating a pelican crossing or traffic light crossing on their own?

No!!! This nonsense must be stopped without further delay!!!

OK rant over, calm is restored to the universe.

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Recruitment problem

I'm sure this is ongoing as i still see ads for unfilled patrols and it's basically because people aren't willing to work for the peanuts. Why not just take the £1000 and give them a payrise they get about £12 per day so it will go a long way. The camera isn't much protection if there isn't a person there to protect.

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Anonymous Coward

thanks

for the laugh mark.

I always wondered why someone was stood taking photos of me when I rolled towards a lollipop lady a couple of years ago, without stopping.....it really wasn't necessary to stop as I was at least 10 metres away when she turned back towards the curb.

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Ash
Joke

A better idea...

... Would be to arm them.

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@Mark Wilson

I thought that too- they were the extra layer of safety for kids over _normal_ road safety rules that everyone follows.

I'm pretty sure most kids have no need now to learn to stop, look, listen. And within 10 years at this rate they will by physically carried over the pedestrian crossing wrapped in bubblewrap.

CCTV for lollipop people is a good idea as they _do_ get a lot of flak for doing their job- and one that the flak-givers probably benefited from when they were young. So, surveilance state whiners or not, I wholeheartedly support this proposal.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: What really gripes me is....

I agree....

I have also noticed that they do tend to walk out in the road with no warning. I do not agree with them being treated badly, but it is a little anoying when you are going along at 25-30 Mph and they walk out and you have to slam your brakes on. I think that is what annoys people, rather than the stopping.

I would never treat them badly for it, but I do avoide roads I know to hhave lollypop people on them.

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Next step...

Give lollypop ladies rocket launchers.

YouTube hilarity to follow.

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@Mark Wilson

"It gripes me (much to the continued chagrin of my wife) that nowadays these people are stationed on pelican crossings, or at crossings which have pedestrian traffic light controls."

It's unfortunately a sign of the times that they are required on pelican crossings that don't have cameras on them because of the attitude of drivers. The alternative would probably be dead lollypop ladies in their droves. Your wife sounds a reasonable person, listen to her.

"Furthermore, if they have to be stationed at these ludicrous points, why oh why oh why do they then help adults who have dropped their kids off at school cross the road? Are these people not capable of operating a pelican crossing or traffic light crossing on their own?"

Would you prefer dead parents as well? How will their children get home from school then? On the one hand we have drivers moaning about parents driving their children to school and causing congestion and on the other hand this. Which would you prefer? Or shall we just close all of the schools so you can spend an extra 10 minutes in bed and rush to work in your car with no regard for anyone else?

I'm actually shocked that anyone could think that this was a bad idea.

@Everyone else who thinks this is a bad idea:

You are probably part of the problem, get over yourself.

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Stop

tackling the symptoms again...

Is this just not another example of tackling the symptom of bad driving, and not tackling the bad driving itself?

Whether it's middle lane hoggers, tail-gaters, rubberneckers or lollipop ignorers, it's sheer bad driving and bad manners that need tackling.

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Paris Hilton

Councils wasting money

Funny how councils complain of never having enough money and therefore have to increase council tax bills by ever greater inflation busting amounts. HOWEVER, cash is ALWAYS available when any sorry excuse is dreamt up to fit CCTV cameras in seemingly any orifice possible to spy on the public.

Obviously Paris Hilton because she no doubt likes lollipops in the vertical position as well.

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Dan
Paris Hilton

Price - £890?!

What's the lollipop made of, diamond-encrusted carbon fibre?! Bet I could do it cheaper...

Paris Hilton, as she could lick my lollipop...

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"Other Days Other Eyes"

Anybody ever read this dystopian Sci-fi novel? Substitute CCTV for slow glass and we've arrived there.

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Anonymous Coward

Cameras?

Re phix8. Can we do away with the cameras and mount machine guns instead? Any driver who ignores a lollipop man or woman is an utter c**t and needs shooting for the greater good. I'm sick of impatient fuckwitted drivers whose selfish driving impacts countless other road users.

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good

I don't really see the big deal; For once I am on the side of the lollipop cameras, so long as the recorded images are deleted at the end of each shift.

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@Mark Wilson

"What is the point of that?"

Maybe it's because drivers think that amber means go?

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surely the point of the story is

...that drivers so need that 20 seconds that they are willing to run down children. Lollipop ladies are at pelican crossings because these are no longer safe for children, as drivers roar through them. Even when kids try to use a crossing properly (and they often don't -- they are just kids), drivers zip through while yakking on a mobile. The need for a driver to be unimpeded does not seem to me to be a burning requirement in anybody's life, and the fact that some git would get out his car to scream abuse at an elderly lady trying to keep children safe from him does boggle the mind.

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Silver badge

Recruitment problem - bis

I think they are just not emploing the right people. I bet that no-one would drive past a lollipop-person if said person was a 195 cm-high, 100 kg angry-looking guy (chain or lead pipe optional). Or if the elderly lollipop ladies were given a shotgun (it would be cheaper, too).

Now what does all this have to do with lollicon? Will the lollipop footage be sold -or "leaked"- on the intawub, to geeks looking for underage miniskirt delicacies? That would help to pay for the spying signs...

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Stop

Why not go the whole hog...

..and tool them up properly? A little summary justice for the tw@ts in hatchbacks, or @rses in chelsea tractors, who think they know better and willingly endanger childrens lives would be a much better deterrent.

Mine's the one with the Daily Mail sticking out of the pocket.

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Happy

This is the wrong approch

What you should be doing is sharpening the edge of the 'lolly pop' then any one who drives past can get to hear the scratch mark on their shiny 4x4 as the edge is brought into contact with the side of said vehicle.

Should the driver become enraged and attempt to remonstrate with the lolly pop person the the edge of the lolly pop can be brought into contact with the driver.

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Coat

This makes sense.

People can get hurt if you ignore the lollipop - the fuel hose can rupture, causing a fire; the jackman may be injured and let go of the rear jack, which can end up as on-track debris, and the driver may collide with another car in the pit lane.

Definitely a good idea to keep an eye on things.

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Silver badge

Shocked

No not so much by cameras in "stop children crossing" signs but by the fact that motorists abuse school crossing wardens to such an extent that cameras are deemed necessary. What is going on there? The Beeb coverage of this story mentions crossing wardens being verbally abused, spat at and plain ignored. OK the beeb are prone to exaggeration and the use of adjective to warp public opinion, but if this is true, my disgust lies with the motorists. To behave in such a manner at a school crossing is wholly out of order. Any motorist that abuses a crossing warden or behaves inappropriately at a school crossing deserves an immediate ban and should resit a driving test. I live near a school, and much to the disgust of some motorists I will not drive at more than 20mph during those times when the local streets are full of children going to or leaving school. Even though some of the little bastards have broken my wing mirror and stole the chrome dustcaps from my tyres.

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Flame

Its disgusting !

They'll be using them to take pictures of kiddies and post them on the internet to share with other lolipoppers. I'm going to write to my MP The Rt Hon. Useless Fat Arse and complain about the use of public money to fund paedophiles

Yours

Rabid Daily Mail reader

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Flame

UK gov continues to replace ethics with technology

Does anyone actually care for what is happening to this country?

And where we are headed?

If I was to read that ONE lollipop lady had been hit, I would be surprised. How is it that over 1000 have been hit? Who is doing this? Is our country so flooded with evil people that this is happenening?

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Dex
Alert

Why not...

just spend the £1500 or however much it is and install traffic lights instead?

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Joke

I request, nay DEMAND

that motorway speed limits be reduced to 50mph, and average speed cameras installed nationally, to combat this menace!

That'll show those evil motorists!

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Engage Brain, then Open Mouth

CCTV ? Er, no it isn't actually, it's just a video recorder. There is a difference. Speaking as someone who truly abhors the Orwellian nightmare that this country seems to be hell-bent on becoming I think this is a damn good idea.

I definitely don't subscribe to the "if you've nothing to hide" school of non-thought wrt to cctv, but relating to this I think it's spot on. The camera is only active when the sign is vertical, and the video it records is not continuous, or for anything but a small and crucial part of each day, or available to Big Brother in real-time.

I have to think that some of the whinging going on here is simply because the people doing it enjoy being able to indulge in obnoxious, threatening and dangerous behaviour using the deadly weapon they legally drive around in.

If £12 is the daily wage I don't wonder that they're running short of volunteers,

F'ing Pathetic

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Jobs Horns

I actually agree with this

I've got two kids in school and I've seen the dangerous crap these grannies have to put up with.

And who are the worst, most dangerous offenders?

Mr executive suit, late for a meeting? Nope

White Van Man? Nope, they usually stop in plenty of time, and make sure all the kiddywinkles and Granny are well out of the way. Its a macho thing.

Kevin the chav in his plastic coated Nova? Nope.

Its the so called respectible Daily mail reading mummies doing the mummy run, because Tarquel is too lazy to walk.

You know the ones that complain about crime and dangerous driving.

Two words: Sic 'em

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Maybe we should let kids have some responsibilities again...

When I was in elementary school, the cross walk by the school was manned by volunteer grade 6 students. I guess no one would allow that anymore.

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It depends on the person

There's "old" and there's "OLD". The difference can be quite dramatic. We used to have a crossing guard at the local elementary school who had no end of problems with drivers, she always had the cops out there trying to ticket miscreants. Her problem was depth perception -- she couldn't tell how far you were away from her and how fast you were going so any kind of movement within 100 yards or so of the crossing was met with hysteria. She was replaced by an oldish guy. Same job, same crossing, same drivers but now its super-cool -- no problems with the kids or the drivers.

So problems with the crossings may be the drivers, but it could be the crossing guard. Dave's also got the idea as well; here, unfortunately, mummy's still got a cellphone clamped to her ear (come July it will be illegal at last!!!!!), too much to do, too little time to do it so just mows down everyone in her path.

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Stop

Bring it

I hope the states can get this these cameras too. People here drive crazy and I'm sure the crossing guards here get hurt or worse and no one does anything

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@Anonymous Coward

Even better than speed cameras is the system they currently have in Spain. What they have, wherever speeding has been shown to be a risk, is a set of traffic lights. There's not normally a crossing there, but the way it works is as follows: the lights stay green constantly until a driver breaks the speed limit (at a point a bit further up the road). When this happens, the lights go red and stay red for a good thirty seconds. Of course, this holds up all the traffic for a long time but the kicker is that the person who triggered the lights is the guy right at the front of the queue, and so everyone knows who he is and hurls abuse at him. Works like a charm.

But would we have it in the UK? Nope, cos it doesn't make any money for our useless waste of a Chancellor.

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Coat

Why?

Why haven't we heard from the lollipop ladies themselves? Is someone lolligagging?

Yes yes. I'm gone.

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Thumb Up

Rising Bollards...

...should be installed either side of school crossings. Lights go red and up they come. Then have the police confiscate and crush any vehicle which gets stuck on them trying to jump the crossing lights. Actually, go further, crush the car with the fuckwit in it. Twice. Then do it again.

Ok, time for the tablets....

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Must be US!!!

Having spent many years in Germany, at which time the duties which these people carry out(ie Lollypop men/ladies) were done by schoolchildren. They wre called, if memory serves, "SCHULERLOTSEN" and, as our Lollypop people do, had the full backing of the law. I do not recall any such problems at that time (60s, 70s, early 80s.) They wore ordinary clothes wth a white ski style cap and white cross belts. The traffic direction was done by a short stick surmounted by a disc, red/ white on one side (STOP) and green/white on the other(GO) If I recall , lights of the same colour wer on each side. Leads me to the sad conclusion that we are a nation of impatient arrogant agressive bastards, which is proved with monotonous regularitry by driving in this country(UK.)

Gary

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Alert

@ tackling the symptoms again...

I agree. I have been saying for a long time that we need to improve the standard of driving on the roads and have proposed we all should have to take a driving test every 5 years. It would pay for itself in 10 years in reduced accidents with lower car insurance and increased productivity due to less days off work due to accidents and less damage to street furniture such as bollards and traffic signs. And I mean EVERYONE including so called professional driver and drivers of emergency vehicles (of which I am one), I am sure most of them would not be worried about retesting in fact many would welcolme it.

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Coat

Arm them!

I'm with Mike. They should arm them, perhaps with Metal Storm. Maybe cheaper than lollycams, given the problems the makers have had in selling them.

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Paris Hilton

Hit me baby one more time

@Lennert Sorensen

Good idea to employ students, especially ones looking like Britney Spears in her first ever video. Every (at least male) driver would screach to a halt!

Paris because she could hit me baby one more time.

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Joke

Stop Pussyfooting Around

The obvious solution to any surveillance problems is to surgically implant a camera in the centre of everyone's forehead, connected to a short range transmitter. As well as wearing portable receiver/recorder combinations, our individual broadcasts could be captured by hidden receivers as we pass by, performing the job currently carried out by CCTVs.

Think of the benefits:

- reliable eye witness testimony

- permanent record of holiday highlights

- ability to share cinema experiences with friends

- no need to take notes in lectures

- easy to settle arguments over who consumed what in a restaurant

- plenty of footage for UK's funniest whatever

The downside is the probable preference that everyone's sexual partner should wear a hat.

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Coat

More council staff powers?

I'm sure there are legitimate reasons for this, and the protection of children on the roads is a pretty good one.

However, more and more powers are being given to council staff each day. How long before this is extended to the lollipop ladies being able to issue fines and tickets? Anyone else concerned that a binman (waste recepticle operative) can issue fine to a homeowner for the wrong type of recycling in a box, even when that item was placed in the box by a passer-by.

What point needs to be reached before the encroaching ends?

More and more each day considering grabbing my coat and going anywhere else in the world!

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Go

@ £1500 for traffic lights.

Clearly this in-duh-vidual has NO concept of the processes involved in installing even a basic set of lights for a pelican crossing. Suffice to say you're not likely to see much in the way of small change out of £250K. and you can double that if you want to equip it with a pair of stop-light enforcement cameras.

Personally, I'm anti Speed cameras and all that shit, EXCEPT in circumstances where they will actually give protection to the most vunerable, i.e. positioned appropriately around schools, at pedestrian crossings, urban roads to enforce sensible road behavior. I think these camera systems are a GREAT idea, as ANYONE who thinks that giving these piss-poorly paid people a hard time for doing a vital job, or ignoring the 'lollipop' deserves all they get. Ultimately, we're talking about KID'S LIVES here.

Lennart. I wholeheartedly agree with you about giving kids more responsibilities as they grow. It makes them more aware of their place in a decent society. Unfortunately, the 'bleeding hearts' have decided that kiddies don't need responsibilities, but have given them a whole new raft of 'rights'. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if you give someone a 'right', you have to balance it with a 'responsibility'. This hasn't happened, and we now have gangs of effectively feral kids, and the law enforcement agencies are powerless to do anything about it. These are the kids who will grow up with scant regard for society or the law, and will cheerfully ignore that "STOP - CHILDREN" sign being weilded by the old lady at the crossing!

Rant Over.

Thank You for listening.

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Coat

Danger money

To anyone complaining about the presence of the lollipop lady/bloke at crossings: Would you want the job? I.e. Would you be willing to step out into the road to stop the traffic on our roads. Not me, it's a danger money job. We're heading the way of our continental and Eastern cousins where crossings are optional for the motorist.

I say this from the experience of nearly seeing a granny get minced up by a large quarry truck hammering through a pedestrian crossing on red.

Mines the one with fluorescent yellow elbow patches stitched on.

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@Robert Harrison and others

""I say this from the experience of nearly seeing a granny get minced up by a large quarry truck hammering through a pedestrian crossing on red.""

Did you mean you just missed seeing the mincing?? A bit late? You should drive a bit faster, mate! ;-)

Seriously, that Spanish system of plonking the speeder at the front of an (unneccesary) queue is brilliant! Until the fuckwitt decides to ignore the red. So, install a Gatso. Shit, too expensive. Easier to let speeders kill.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Price?

I agree with the price guy, this is bonkers.

What's wrong with a camcorder and a roll of duct tape?

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Anonymous Coward

@dervheid: rights and responsibility

"...if you give someone a 'right', you have to balance it with a 'responsibility'..."

Not at all true. Tiny babies have rights, but they rightly don't have any responsibility. Rights are a privilege of affluence and security. Ask a Dafur refugee how their rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are doing.

Responsibilities should be added as the person's capacity for fulfilling them grows. I suppose you could say that the countervailing responsibility for all the rights that society bestows is to take as much responsibility as you are capable of...

I'd favour the arming of crossing guards: double barrelled shotgun with teflon slugs.

Or deploy them in pairs and bracket the crossing with Stingers. You could have little popup wavy flags along the length of the device.

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Happy

@Roxton

Sounds like a good system but it won't be implemented here because there's no taxation component and, as we know, the British government believes that ALL problems can be solved by extra taxation.

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Stop

The lollypop is a STOP sign!

Having worked as a civvie for a UK police force on the Road Traffic Collisions section, and having dealt with the paperwork on a few incidents of lollypop-person abuse, I actually agree with this idea.

I've dealt with instances of lollypoppers being driven around whilst kids are on the crossing, threats and actual physical violence against lollypoppers and even one run over by a bus!

The primary problem we had when trying to warn/prosecute such instances is witnesses. You will usually get a few mums, dads, etc come forward to support the loppypopper but as the alleged offender is more often than not someone on the school run, and/or local and known to them, they often don't want to go ahead with a formal statement and hence cannot be used as a witness for a formal warning or potential prosecution.

I do also agree that some lollypoppers can be a bit over-zealous about leaping into the road when they see a kid approaching, and some forces/councils do train and monitor their lollypoppers better than others, so there also needs to be other work done such as more consistent training of lollypoppers and education of motorists that the lollypop is legally a STOP sign.

Usually a formal warning from the police for 'failing to stop...' is sufficient to make people think twice when they realise that that if they get caught at it again it's a hefty fine and points on their licence.

One option we also used to use a lot for minor incidents is a driver safety awareness course. These are usually run by the local council, the driver has to pay a small fee for it, and it can be offered as an alternative to prosecution (some complain about paying for it but when you point out that the alternative is a heavier fine/points they usually see the sense of it).

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Lollipop kids

I would say the idea of getting one of the older and more responsible kids to do the job would be a far better idea, as some commenters have suggested. Maybe drivers would be less inclined to yell abuse and spit at a kid, let alone run over them.

Obviously not going to happen, of course. It's critically important for the status quo that we keep up the illusion that the moment a child leaves the house out of sight of a parent, they will be snatched up by a paedo/terrorist/private equity firm. The more they stay inside, the more they resemble cattle, physically and mentally. Take responsibility and freedom away from the kids and they won't ask for it back when they grow up.

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Pirate

yeah right

I think that the attitude of some drivers is absolutely unacceptable. I have several times seen parents while driving their own children to school in their 4x4 just driving through when crossing children where making their way to the same school. Absolutely ridiculous! I do not think that cameras are going to solve the problem though. What really should happen is that the police should have more surprise spot checks now and then on places where issues happen regularely. Drivers should be stopped and fined on the spot and they should be thoroughly informed of the risks they create with their dangerous driving. The excuse that 'the police cannot do anything' is also silly - the point is that SOME police departments are perfectly able while others are not. I have also welcome the creative initiative used by some police officers to explain very thoroughly to the driver why good driving habits are important and also include thorough description of good driving habits. The greatness in that practice is that an extended story telling exercise (to road huligans) is going to be a significant punishment in its own right for those drivers that thought themselves to be in such a hurry that they where prepared to put childrens (and adults) lifes at risk. Works great also when the offender cannot easily be given a fine...

About costs of traffic lights - my council managed to get a couple for a zebra crossing (outside a school) and apparantly it did not cost much more than £50K! Someone quoted £250K in a post above but that seems quite an extravagantly good deal for the involved contractors! Maybe some councils can afford to be more corrupt than others and have significant cost related irregularities going on? Or the suggested prise is just a fairytale excuse for not getting any?

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