By Cara Sulieman
CAMERAS hidden inside the sticks used by lollipop men are being used by a Scots council to catch dangerous drivers.
The video pole was introduced by East Lothian Council today in a bid to make their crossing guides’ jobs safer.
The £1,050 poles are automatically activated when held upright, snapping the registration plates of any vehicles that fail to stop.
Robert Purves, 63, works as a crossing guide on Station Road in Haddington and hopes the new kit will help avoid a repeat of near misses he has had in the past.
He said: “I have gone out into the middle of the road to see kids and families across, and four times before I’ve got back to the pavement, cars have just went right through me.
“What happens if there’s an accident and I get hurt?
“Even when the kids are there, sometimes the cars just go through.
“I think the camera is going to be a good thing because if anybody does that again, they could get charged.
“People are in too much of a hurry.
“They haven’t got the patience.”
The camera hidden in the pole doesn’t photograph pedestrians or drivers due to the angle it is at – it only snaps the number plates.
Warning signs will be posted in the areas where the poles are used and if any incidents occur the footage will be examined before being passed on to Lothian and Borders Police.
Mr Purves added: “Without the camera, it is very hard to get a number plate because you have got to concentrate on the kids crossing the road.
“You really have got to keep your eye on the ball.
“Some drivers in the area are unreal.”
A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said: “With so many near misses, and the obvious threat to life and limb, East Lothian Council is one of the first councils to invest in this hi-tech solution to help catch the culprits.
“We felt it was worth the investment for the safety of children crossing the road and the crossing guides themselves.”