South Tyneside school crossing patrols will wear body cameras to crackdown on dangerous drivers
South Tyneside Council are stepping up efforts to make the roads around the borough’s schools safer.
School crossing patrol staff across South Tyneside are being issued with body cameras in an effort to crackdown on drivers who fail to stop and improve road safety.
There are 37 sites across the borough that are served by crossing patrol staff, who will now wear the cameras while on duty.
As well as capturing drivers who fail to stop, South Tyneside Council will use the footage obtained to monitor driver behaviour while pedestrians are being helped across the road.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Transport and Neighbourhoods at South Tyneside Council, said: “Road safety is a key priority for us and we are always looking at what more we can do to reduce the risk to all drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
“The majority of drivers respect our school crossing patrol officers and the safety of the children and families they help cross the road on the extremely busy school run.
“However, there is a small minority who are impatient, can be abusive or simply ignore the signal to stop when approaching these areas.
“Vehicles that fail to stop when directed to do so put both our crossing patrol and pedestrians, including school children, at risk. The body cameras will help to record any incidents with the footage passed on to the police to determine whether an offence has been committed.
“Our school crossing patrol officers are loved by the local families they serve and work in all weathers to help keep people safe. We urge drivers to drive slowly and be mindful of their surroundings when approaching crossing patrol points.”
School crossing patrol staff that serve the area around Mortimer Primary School are among the first in the borough to be issued with the cameras.
Peter Bennett, the head teacher of Mortimer Primary School, hopes that the body cameras will help efforts to make the roads surrounding the school as safe as possible.
He commented: “The Crossing Patrol staff play a vital role in keeping our children and safe by supporting the healthy choice of walking to school.
“We hope that the body cameras work to support the crossing patrol team, whilst increasing safety for our pupils and parents, as they make their way to and from school.”
The introduction of body cameras is just one of the ways that the council is working to make roads safer in South Tyneside.
Officers from South Tyneside Council’s road safety team are also visiting schools to help teach children how to cross the road safely, choose the safest routes and provide ‘bikeability’ courses to give children the skills and confidence to cycle safely.
The Transport Act 2000 states that school crossing patrol staff have the power to stop moving traffic when wearing their uniform and using the stop sign.
If a driver fails to stop when signalled to do so by a school crossing patrol officer, they are breaking the law and can be reported to the police.
Drivers who fail to stop can be subject to a fine of up to £1,000 and three points on their driving licence.