Tuesday 16 January 2018

Bid to overturn lollipop man ban

Nkosana Mdikane, 74, works outside two West Dunbartonshire primary schools
Nkosana Mdikane, 74, works outside two West Dunbartonshire primary schools

An online campaign is calling for a ban on an elderly lollipop man from high-fiving schoolchildren to be overturned.

Nkosana Mdikane, 74, who works outside two West Dunbartonshire primary schools, has reportedly been told to stop giving children the energetic greeting as they cross the road.

The council was said to have made the decision - which surrounds crossings near Aitkenbar and St Peter's primary schools - for safety reasons.

But a community Facebook campaign to "save the high fives" has now gleaned almost 3,700 supporters.

A statement on the page describes it as having been set up "to reverse West Dunbartonshire Council's decision to stop our lollipop man giving the kids a high five at Aitkenbar and St Peter's primary".

A linked petition entitled "Reverse the decision to allow our lollipop man to give high fives" has also received around 1,000 signatures.

That page, on the change.org site, says of the patrolman: "He encourages safe crossing because all the kids go and cross with him to get their high five and the traffic is already stopped."

In a statement, West Dunbartonshire Council said: "All our patrollers are trained to comply with the school crossing guidelines produced by Road Safety GB and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

"This requires that when crossing children over a road they need to remain static with one hand on their stick and the other stretched outwards.

"This ensures that they can be seen and effectively provide a visible barrier between school pupils and the traffic. Their main role is one of road safety. This national guidance has been effective since 2012."

Mr Mdikane, who is also known affectionately as Smiley, hit the headlines in 2013 when he was hailed as being possibly Scotland's happiest lollipop man.

Press Association

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