Alex Cunningham MP backs search for UK’s top lollipop person

Local MP Alex Cunningham has backed a UK campaign highlighting the importance of school crossing patrols, and says that schools in Stockton North should recognise the role lollipop people play in local road safety.

The Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year campaign, which is open to all primary schools in the UK, aims to find Britain’s favourite lollipop person.

But the campaign, which attracted more than 19,000 entries last year, also highlights the importance of having adequate supervision for children who have to cross roads on the way to school.

A UK-wide survey of schoolchildren, commissioned by Kwik Fit Insurance also highlights the dangers children face on their daily journey to and from school.

The research revealed that 40 per cent of kids between the age of seven and 14, or 2.2million children, are risking their lives running across the road without looking, and even more concerning was the fact that 1.1m, or half again admitted to running across the road without checking for traffic all the time.

Alex said: “This campaign highlights the important role our lollipop people play in our community and I’d encourage every school in my constituency to take this opportunity to shout about that.

”Roads are becoming increasingly busy and as long as children walk to school we absolutely have to recognise the vital job carried out by lollipop people in helping pupils safely across the road.”

According to the most recent Government figures, 1,660 child pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in road accidents in 2009, a drop of seven percent on the previous year’s figures.

Brendan Devine, group managing director of Kwik Fit Financial Services, added: “We are determined to help further improve the UK’s road safety record for children.  There’s some great work going on throughout the country by government road safety bodies and national charities such as Brake, but our findings show there is still work to be done.  We think the Lollipop Person of the Year campaign is a good way of raising awareness to both children and motorists alike.

“We want to make sure that Britain’s children are safe as they walk to school, which means that not only do we need to employ plenty of lollipop people, but it’s vitally important that motorists think about how they drive around towns and near schools.”

Last year’s winning lollipop man John Foley from Bushes Primary School in Paisley, Scotland, enjoyed a holiday of a lifetime whilst the children and staff of Bushes Primary School created a new community garden with their £3000 prize money.

Nominations for the Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year Awards 2010 will close on Friday, November 19th 2010.