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Department of Transport launches 'Stop Means Stop' Campaign 13 September 2006

DOT - Stop Means Stop CampaignAs part of its ‘Safer Driving Month’ initiative, the Department of Transport’s Road Safety Unit has unveiled its latest campaign targeted at all of the Island’s motorists.

The “Stop Means Stop” campaign has been designed to highlight the importance of stopping for the School Crossing Patrol. Believe it or not, some motorists on the Island are in so much of a hurry that they ignore the School Crossing Patrol, putting themselves, the patrol officer and the children crossing the road in danger.

School Crossing Patrols (SCPs) were established in the UK back in 1954 to assist children cross the road on their way to or from school safely. The famous ‘lollypop stick’ which is still used by school crossing patrol officers on the Island and in the UK today, was designed so that details of a vehicle which failed to stop for the school crossing patrol could be chalked on the black panel on the stick head. These details were then forwarded to the local police for them to progress.

Today, every school crossing patrol officer is issued with a notebook to record detailed information about any motorist that fails to stop for a party crossing the road, or continues to drive by when it is obvious that the patrol officer has asked them to stop from the side of the road. They are encouraged to make a note of the registration number, make, model and colour of vehicle, time of the incident and gender of the driver. Whilst the method may have changed in recent times, the information is still forwarded onto the Isle of Man Constabulary so they can take appropriate action.

DOT - Stop Means Stop CampaignThe School Crossing Patrol Service currently has responsibility for 35 patrols, who undertake their duties in a professional manner and with great enthusiasm. These dedicated officers take up their post with the primary intention to serve their local community. Whilst they are paid for providing this essential service, most of them agree that ensuring that the Island’s school children get to and from school safely is the real reward.

Gordon Edwards, Road Safety Manager comments

“The School Crossing Patrol Team are without any doubt one of the most committed group of people that continue to play a very important role in keeping our community a safe and friendly place. This is why the Department is keen for every motorist on the Island to take notice of its ‘Stop Means Stop’ campaign. The message is quite simple; all road users must stop when a school crossing patrol officer asks them to do so.”

The majority of the Island’s road users respect their local lollipop man, however there is a definite need for the Department to remind the drivers that don’t stop.

The ‘Stop Means Stop’ campaign was initially introduced on the Island in January 2006, after numerous complaints were received from School Crossing Patrols (SCPs) to the Road Safety Unit staff. These complaints were entirely justified following a number of incidents when vehicles failed to stop, referred to as “run throughs”, when school crossing patrol officers were attempting to carry out their duties.

This year’s campaign is due to be launched to coincide with the new school term, backed up with radio advertising and extended coverage in the local press.

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