Hidden cameras to be put on top of lollipop wardens sticks after driver abuse
A scheme where hidden cameras are fitted on the stop sticks of lollipop men and women is currently being piloted by Mayo and Kildare County Councils.
The initiative has been introduced to improve road safety and catch dangerous drivers who fail to stop to allow school children to cross the road.
If the trial run proves successful, the scheme could be implemented at schools across the country.
According to Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council, school crossing wardens often experience verbal insults from motorists and this scheme will help bring that to an end.
“We currently have it in operation in Westport, but it is not as if the warden has the camera on all day. They only activate it when there is an incident or they are being verbally abused, which so often happens, and then we can contact Gardai afterwards.
“The whole purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness and create safe crosses for children. It is an issue which is raised at every county council meeting I go to,” he told Independent.ie.
A number of incidents where motorists abused or assaulted patrol wardens were reported to councils across the country last year.
As a result, the new pilot scheme was discussed yesterday by local authorities at a road safety meeting in Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
Mr Gibbons said that similar schemes across England, Scotland and Wales have been very successful.
Under Irish law, a warden holding a stop stick should be obeyed the same way as a red traffic light.
Failure by a driver to stop can result in a fine of up to €120 and five penalty points on conviction.