Life sucks when you're a lollipop man at the most dangerous crossing in Orange

WHEN Bob Bell signed on as a school lollipop man he had no idea he’d be risking life and limb everyday dodging speeding drivers.

Mr Bell controls traffic during peak school times in Anson Street outside Bletchington Public School. He says he’s frequently forced to step off the pedestrian crossing to avoid being hit by a speeding car despite flashing lights warning drivers they’re approaching a school zone.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” Mr Bell said.

“The vast majority of the drivers don’t slow down, they don’t see the dangers of what can happen when young ones pull away from their mothers and run on the crossing.

“I’m fearful for the children’s sake.

“Some drivers keep driving even if they see me in the middle of the crossing. I just have to step back or they’ll run over me.”

Mr Bell said he was surprised no one had been seriously hurt.

“Most of the speeding drivers are just people in a hurry but a lot of them are P-platers,” he said.

Mr Bell believes the crossing outside Bletchington Public School is the most dangerous in Orange, and partly blames the crossing’s poor visibility for drivers not slowing down in Anson Street.

“They can hardly see me,” he said.

Mr Bell said during a 10-minute period from 3pm on Thursday he counted 12 cars speeding through the crossing.

“I tried to slow them down with my hand and a flag but I couldn’t,” he said. “I often get abused by them, they’re just so anxious to get to their destination.”

Mr Bell said despite the crossing being a 40 kilometre per hour speed zone, most drivers exceeded the limit by 10 or 20 kilometres.

He said the only thing that might deter drivers was a stronger police presence and a speeding blitz in the area.

However, in spite of the dangers associated with his job, Mr Bell still believes the good outweighs the bad.

“I love my job,” he said.

“The children are polite, they always tell me to enjoy the rest of my day, and the parents are polite,” he said.

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