School crossing patrol officers help children and adults to safely cross busy roads outside schools. Even where a school crossing patrol is provided, it remains the responsibility of the parent or guardian of the child to ensure they travel to and from school safely.
When a school crossing patrol officer displays their STOP sign, motorists must stop. Failing to do so is breaking the law, and drivers will be reported, risking a fine of up to £1000 and 3 penalty points on their licence.
Understanding crossing patrol signals
Sign held upside down
Not ready to cross pedestrians. You can keep driving.
Sign held to the side
Barrier to stop pedestrians crossing. You can keep driving.
Sign held up high
Pedestrians are ready to cross. You must be prepared to stop your vehicle.
Sign held out, both arms extended
Pedestrians are crossing. You must stop your vehicle.
Safety around schools
School crossing patrol officers need to see, and be seen. Drivers should always keep school entrances clear, as inconsiderate parking can be very dangerous for pedestrians.
- To avoid congestion near the school, park a little further away and walk to the school
- Don't park or stop at any time on yellow lines or SCHOOL KEEP CLEAR markings
- Avoid parking opposite SCHOOL KEEP CLEAR markings
- Don't reverse your car into school entrances in order to turn around
- Don't double park outside schools
School crossing patrol locations
Site specific surveys are carried out and school crossing patrol sites are justified by national criteria. This is a calculation based on the number of vehicles passing the crossing point combined with the number of children crossing between the busiest periods. Additional factors are also considered, such as visibility, road width and vehicle speeds.