The new school year may only be weeks old but already the “amber flashing light syndrome” is with us once again.
Road users will be aware that, at school crossing patrol points, amber flashing lights are installed, which are operated when a patrol is in attendance and, I believe, it is a legal requirement they be shut off at all other times. The school crossing patrol “service” is provided by Lancashire County Council.
While the crossing patrol persons are adept at switching these lights on, there is a continuing (and growing) problem of them not being switched off. So we have the situation of these lights operating all night, all weekend and even at school holidays. This weekend, for example, these lights were left flashing away at Christ Church School, Keighley Road, Colne; near Primet at Burnley Road, Colne; and at Reedyford Road, Nelson.
As well as the infraction of the law, leaving these lights flashing away at all hours when no patrol is present risks invoking in drivers the “crying wolf response”. People who have constantly experienced false alarms about a supposed hazard will ignore the alarm when the hazard is present (i.e. a crossing patrol). Clearly a danger that should not occur and would not if the patrol persons actually did the job they were paid to do.
In addition, there is the question of the needless waste of electricity and money and the needless use of finite fossil fuels and consequent pollution and global warming. Lancashire County Council attempts to position itself as a champion of the environment, haranguing the public on the need to reduce energy consumption and wastage but here itself is guilty (in a highly visible way) of what it criticises the public for. Dual standards and hypocrisy by any measure.
Just why crossing patrol persons cannot shut off these lights as they are paid to do and their Lancashire County Council managers cannot make them do the job they are paid to do, I don’t understand.
If Lancashire County Council cannot manage this “service” properly then it should be given to an organisation that can.
Frustrated road user