KIRKLEES Council may be giving its lollipop men and women a new weapon to fight aggressive drivers.
But the scheme is still at the prototype stage and is not yet mounted on lollipops.
Kirklees Council aims to mount two mini cameras on some lollipops – one facing forwards and the other backwards.
The pictures can be used as evidence against drivers who swear at the crossing patrols or put the children crossing the road at risk.
Council chiefs reckon there were 1,400 incidents against lollipop patrols last year, from people shouting at them to drivers ignoring the patrol and driving straight past.
Legally, a lollipop lady has the same power as a red traffic light.
Drivers must stop or face a fine and points on their licences.
Vera Irving has been helping children across the road in Huddersfield for 20 years.
She said most people are fine, but recently she had a terrifying experience.
“The car had stopped,’’ she said. “The children stepped out, the mum stepped out. Then the lady just carried on, nearly knocking the children down.
“If the mum hadn’t pulled the children out of the way, they’d have got run over. They’d have got killed.’’
The new system – designed by the Oxfordshire company Routesafe Limited – is not the first system to use cameras, but it is the first to mount them on the pole.
The pictures are time-coded and can be used to prosecute the drivers.
The number of aggressive incidents against lollipop patrols is often cited as one of the reasons for a constant shortage of people wanting to do the job.
A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “The cameras are a deterrent against inconsiderate drivers.
“In Kirklees there are between eight and 12 serious incidents a year that are reported to the police. However, there are many more minor incidents that occur, but as the patrol’s priority is for the safety of the children it can be difficult for them to get details of the vehicle.’’
Clr David Hall, lead councillor for Kirklees Highways, said: “Our patrols do a fantastic job looking after the safety of our children when crossing the road.
“These new lollipops will give the patrols peace of mind when they step into the road.’’