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Thumbs up to lollipop men but no Hi Fives Covid19

Date: 24-08-2020

With their luminous jackets and giant ‘lollipops’ school wardens are a welcome sight outside many  primary schools.

They are there every weekday morning, lunchtime and afternoon ready to assist youngsters making their way to  Primary Schools and nearby nurseries.

Mornings and afternoons are the busiest times and will see them cross the road countless times between 8.30am and 9.15 and 3.10pm and 4pm

An appeal to road users to be more patient when schools reopen in the coming week and to allow for delays on their commute with new Covid19 operating guidelines in place for school wardens (lollipop men and women) .

The familiar Hi five which many people would remember giving the school warden after getting across safely will no longer be permitted.

Children at primary schools will be advised to stop high-fiving the lollipop men /women in a bid to avoid the coronavirus.

The reason behind this move is to educate our children in the best possible ways germs can be shared and how to avoid doing so while protecting school wardens also.

These guidelines include :

- Any physical interaction with students must cease. (Hi Five, Shoulder Taps) etc

- School Wardens may need to stop traffic more frequently to reduce group gathering at their crossings

- Traffic may be held up for longer periods on a single stops, in the afternoon for instance, to ensure there is no group congregation at their crossings.

- School Wardens must verbally insist students maintain a safe distance from the Warden while at or approaching the crossing.

- New signage will be installed at crossing points to remind students and parents of social distancing rules.

- Face shields will be made available for wardens to wear during crossings.

Drivers are being reminded that they must stop for lollipop men and women when school starts back this week.

The appeal comes after school traffic wardens expressed concerns that they are often on the receiving end of motorists' frustrations.

Noel Gibbons Mayo County Council  Road safety officer said: “Although the majority of drivers respect the work carried out by school crossing patrols, there is still a small but significant number who ignore the law, abuse the service and put the lives of children and the patrols at risk. Not only is it dangerous for drivers to ignore a patrol, but it is also against the law,  wardens, like gardaĆ­, have the legal power to stop traffic. Drivers who fail to stop for school traffic warden could face a €120 fine, four penalty points, and disqualification. Drivers also reminded that CCTV cameras operate at some locations and also dash cams are exist in many cars now a days and can capture dangerous driving “.

We are appealing to all road users to please be patient and respect social distancing guidelines when approaching or using a school warden crossing."

There are now more than 400 school traffic warden working across the country — all attempting to ensure that children get to and from school safely.

The wardens, like gardaĆ­, have the legal power to stop traffic. Drivers who fail to stop for school traffic warden could face a €120 fine, four penalty points, and disqualification

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