Lollipop ladies learn how to keep cool in face of road rage

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The Independent Online

Lollipop ladies, the latest victims of road rage, are signing up for self-defence training to learn how to cope with aggressive drivers.

Lollipop ladies, the latest victims of road rage, are signing up for self-defence training to learn how to cope with aggressive drivers.

Stressed-out motorists have been known to menace lollipop ladies with their cars, refuse to stop when asked, rev their engines, swear and shout personal abuse, according to the RAC Foundation, the campaigning wing of the motorists' club. In one instance a driver threw hot coffee at a lollipop lady.

Such aggressive behaviour, branded "lollipop aggression psychological disorder" by the foundation's consultant psychologist, Conrad King, has dissuaded people from doing the job. "Some drivers can get so frustrated that the warden becomes a 'lightning rod' for feelings of anger and powerlessness," Mr King said.

Launching an awareness campaign yesterday, Edmund King, executive director of the foundation, said: "Crossing attendants have a vital role to play. We don't want these aggressive drivers driving them off the road."

The problem is so acute in Derby that the city council has invited its 70 lollipop ladies to attend classes in "confrontation management". Stan Werbinski, the council's safety and travel awareness manager, said: "Our courses are about learning body language and gestures which will defuse rather than aggravate the situation."

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