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School crossing patrols - General Information

If you wish to purchase a school crossing patrol and acquire materials and training then please visit our
School crossing patrols: Resources & information for schools page.

School Crossing Patrols ( Lollipop Men & Women ) have legal powers to stop traffic to help adults cross the road, as well as children going to and from school.
This page provides information on how to use a school crossing patrol, the legal powers they have and also how to become a School Crossing Warden (Lollipop man & woman).

School Crossing Patrol

School crossing patrols (lollipop men & women) are one of only three groups of people who are allowed to stop traffic, the others being traffic wardens and police officers. School Crossing Patrols have legal powers to stop traffic so that both adults and children can cross the road.

Only trained school crossing patrol wardens may use a “lollipop” and they must operate at a designated site.

School crossing patrol signals

school crossing signals

Both drivers and parents/pedestrians must obey the signals from the school crossing wardens stop sign that they use:-

  • Figure A:- Sign held upside down - This indicates it is not safe for pedestrians to cross yet .
  • Figure B:- Sign held sideways - This indicates a barrier so that pedestrians can not go onto the road.
  • Figure C:- Sign held up one arm holding the sign, the other arm inwards - pedestrians should get ready to cross and vehicles must be prepared to stop.
  • Figure D:- Both arms extended out sign held up in one hand - All vehicles must stop, pedestrians can now cross.

Rules for crossing with a school crossing patrol:-

  1. Walk on the pavement to the school crossing patrol warden.
  2. Tell them you would like to cross.
  3. Wait away from the kerb, on the pavement.
  4. Stay on the pavement while the warden checks it is safe and walks into the road.
  5. Cross when the school crossing patrol warden says you can.
  6. Walk across the road in a straight line (do not run).
  7. Cross in front of the school crossing patrol.
  8. If you are on a bike, get off your bike and push it across the road.
  9. Say thank you.

Types of Crossings

Some school crossing patrols (lollipop men & women) work on zebra, pelican, puffin and Toucan crossings. At these locations the same rules apply. When a school crossing patrol is on duty at a light controlled crossing, members of the public should wait for them to press the button. Remember even where a school crossing patrol is provided, parents remain responsible for ensuring their children’s safety.

Pelican Crossings

Toucan Crossing

Puffin Crossing

Zebra Crossings

Parental responsibility

The responsibility for ensuring the safety of children travelling to and from school is, and must remain a parental one. It should be noted that even where a school crossing patrol is provided, parents remain responsible for ensuring their child’s safety on their whole journey to and from school.

Legal powers of school crossing patrols

It is an offence under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for a vehicle to fail to stop for a school crossing patrol wearing the official uniform and displaying the STOP sign.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, drivers are legally obliged to obey the school crossing patrol sign. Powers were extended in 2001 meaning that patrols can now stop traffic to help adults cross the road, as well as children going to and from school.

Failure to comply could result in a fine up to £1,000 and 3 points on your licence.


If you are interested in becoming a school crossing patrol warden and require further information regarding recruitment, please contact us by email schoolcrossings@birmingham.gov.uk or telephone us on 0121 303 7777.

Contact Us

If you wish to find out about School crossings in your area please email schoolcrossings@birmingham.gov.uk or Telephone us on:- 0121 303 7777

You can also get in touch with us via post:-
School Crossing Patrol Service
Place Directorate
Ladywood District
Summerfield Community Centre
Winson Green Road
B18 4EJ

Road Safety Great Britain

Road Safety GB provide a vast amount of information and resources on road safety. Visit their website www.roadsafetygb.org.uk. For more specific information relating to school crossings, please see the link below to the following Road Safety GB page:-

Stop means stop campaign