Ode to the lollipops

16th September 2011 by

School crossing patrol officers didn’t feature heavily in my childhood, or I don’t remember them if they did.

But now I love them. These ladies and gentlemen of the lollipop are beacons of florescent hi-visibility and humanity. They command the traffic with an iron first, whilst stopping to chat to school children, parents and passersby. They provide the human touch in the midst of school-run jams. They put even the most aggressive engine revving, light jumping drivers in their place.

Wikipedia tells me that,
Under UK law it is an offence for a motorist not to stop if signalled to do so by a patroller. In the past patrollers only had the authority to stop the traffic for children. However, the Transport Act 2000 changed the law was so that a patroller had the authority to stop the traffic for any pedestrian.

I pass one crossing patrol officer on my way to work, she appears to know everyone. Regardless of rain, shine or snow, she dons a smile along with her hi-vis coat. One of my weekly commutes passes a zebra crossing in Tottenham where the lollipop man salutes me, the only cyclist, every time!

As the nights draw in

2nd November 2010 by

It’s officially the end of British summer time. Anyone who wants to moan about British summers can go live in Spain with all the other annoying, sunburnt Brits abroad. But whatever you made of it, it’s long over.  Last week the nights were all drawn out into the mornings, but since the clocks went back the nights are really drawing in. November typically has only 10 hours of daylight, from 7am to 4pm, this means most of my cycling will be in the dark for the next few months.

I recently became a convert to the hi-vis vest, it’s part of a long slow decline from puberty to anorak-hood. But the hi-vis never runs out of batteries, like my bike lights. It doesn’t crack if you drop it on the floor, like my helmet. As car headlights get closer, the hi-vis only get brighter. I am fully aware of the new levels of geekery that I have attained, but the hi-vis is my favourite new safety device.

So the only sensible thing to do is to get yourself seen…

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