I would like to thank “School crossing patrol officer” for putting me right about how the amber warning lights are operated.
In my defence, I can only say that this was not what I had been led to believe in past correspondence with County Hall.
However, the question of why a “computer problem in Preston” exists unresolved in a critical road safety system has not been answered. Another case of an expensive public sector computer system not doing the job it was supposedly designed to do? How long is this going to go on?
I would have left my observations there but for the totally unnecessary pop at drivers or “motorists” as the school crossing patrol officer calls them. Just “motorists”? What about van, lorry and bus drivers and motorcyclists? “School crossing patrol officer” reveals an unacceptable, jaundiced view about people who actually provide him/her with a job and who, in current public sector “speech”, are his/her customers. Where the key to good road safety is co-operation, such a view by a road safety “officer” is counter-productive.
However, “School crossing patrol officer”’s outburst precisely illustrates my major concern about the “flashing light” problem. People exposed to constant or frequent false alarms become anaesthetised to their presence and thus fail to recognise the existence of the hazard supposedly warned about when it actually is present. This normal trait of human behaviour has been known since Biblical times: the “Crying Wolf Syndrome”. So, it is no mystery that “motorists” fail to heed the advisory 20mph limit. So, instead of bad mouthing road users, “School crossing patrol officer” should perhaps be pressing his employers to get the flashing amber light, false alarm problem resolved.
Finally, I did not state “school crossings are a hazard to cars”. My concern relates only to the operation of the amber warning lights when no patrol is present.
Frustrated road user
Walton Street Mill