Spy camera plan for lollipop signs

School lollipop men and women in Cumbria could soon be involved in a covert operations to catch dangerous drivers by using hidden spy cameras in their signs.

Cumbria County Council wants to use the built-in cameras to photograph cars that fail to stop at crossings. The images would then be handed to the police and used as evidence in court.

The idea is part of a plan to boost the flagging number of lollipop people on Cumbrian roads. Officers say they have recently had difficulty filling posts, with about a third currently vacant, and believe safety may be a factor.

A council report explains: "Continued advances in camera technology have created the opportunity to improve the safety of crossers on site.

"Due to legal restrictions the use of headcams, which are used by some police forces, is not an option.

"There is, however, a company that manufactures crossing sticks with built-in cameras. One disadvantage is that the stick is heavier and can sustain damage if dropped. The main advantage is that, unlike headcams, the camera sticks comply with surveillance legislation."

A lollipop sign has the same legal power as a red light. Ignoring one can result in a £1,000 fine and three penalty points on a driving licence.

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