Calls for ‘ignorant’ drivers to stop for lollipop lady after near misses outside Grantham school

Lollipop lady Amanda Parke at work outside West Grantham Academy St John's.

Lollipop lady Amanda Parke at work outside West Grantham Academy St John's.

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Ignorant motorists are causing a danger at a school crossing because they are driving too fast and in some cases not even stopping for the lollipop lady.

Amanda Parke, who has been the lollipop lady at St John’s Academy on Trent Road for more than seven years said there had been several near misses in recent years as cars failed to stop for the crossing. In one case a car came so close to Mrs Parke it brushed her jacket.

Lollipop lady Amanda Parke with, from left, road safety advisor Sara Bartlett, St John's acting headteacher Ian Woolerton and acting deputy headteacher Janet Thacker.

Lollipop lady Amanda Parke with, from left, road safety advisor Sara Bartlett, St John's acting headteacher Ian Woolerton and acting deputy headteacher Janet Thacker.

Mrs Parke said: “It’s a really busy road and I do worry about it. These are all ‘my’ kids because they are all in my care for a few seconds. I think that it all comes down to the ignorance of a few drivers.”

This month a safety campaign called ‘Stop for the lollipop’ was launched by the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP). It aims to address the issue of some drivers not stopping for school crossing patrols.

Road safety advisor Sara Bartlett, of LRSP, said: “When Amanda puts her sign up it’s a legal requirement for drivers to stop. There is a particularly high number of drivers who speed past and its because 
of an ignorance of the law.”

She added: “We want to encourage children to cycle and walk to school and be environmentally friendly and healthy. That’s why people like Amanda are vital in helping the children across a busy road like this one.”

Mrs Parke said that some drivers were even abusive to her. She said: “They seem to tell me off but I am only doing my job. A lot of them are speeding.”

There is an advisory speed limit of 20mph on the stretch of Trent Road outside the school.

Acting headteacher Ian Woolerton said: “For us it is all about the safety of the children and the lollipop lady which is why we are supporting this campaign. The majority of drivers do stop but it only takes one incident for somebody to get hurt.”

Acting deputy head Janet Thacker said: “I have noticed how bust the road is and how vitally important it is to have a lollipop lady there.”

The LRSP says it wants people to report the ‘despicable and dangerous’ driving of those motorists who fail to stop for crossing patrols.

Rule 210 of The Highway Code states: “You must stop when a school crossing patrol shows a ‘Stop for Children’ sign.”