Imagine the scene. A disgruntled driver threateningly shows their fist, and their passengers give the finger as they drive past at speed, ignoring the signs while endangering lives.
Many of us road users have had this, or worse, over the years. Sometimes it’s our fault.
But in this case and many others, the recipients of the anger are just children working as part of the ‘school patrol’ and stepping out onto the road with signs to ensure their fellow students can cross the road safely each morning.
According to a 2019 survey conducted by Epinion for the Road Safety Council, 38% of drivers experienced hostility from motorists while performing their duties.
Cyclists also guilty
In the UK they are called Lollipop Ladies / Men, in North America, crossing guards, and in Australia, crosswalk guards, and in Denmark they are each called under the sun, according to the study.
The hostility is clearly something other motorists experience. In a recent survey, while 98 percent say they respect the work of young people and show consideration, only 75 percent feel that their peers do the same.
Cyclists are also guilty of respecting the human barriers and often break through the border if they can. While motorists account for 60 percent of incidents, cyclists weigh 21 percent and pedestrians 13 percent.
In cases where they are abused, young people are encouraged to take down license plates, which are then passed on via their coordinator to the police.
In some cases, young people have had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.
Campaign to raise awareness
From next Monday, a national campaign will highlight the harassment some students are experiencing.
The campaign ‘Take good care of the school patrol’ is carried out in collaboration with 77 of the country’s municipalities and LB Forsikring.
“There are far too many students in school patrols across the country who have experienced unpleasant things shouting or bad behavior from road users,” the Council commented to Safe Traffic senior project manager Liv Kofoed-Jensen.
“It is not a fair way to treat children who volunteer for the greater good, and we are therefore focusing on the problem in the new campaign.”
Source: The Nordic Page