57. School Crossing Guard
Adult school crossing guards have become important parts of school crossing protection in many cities. Following are brief discussions of considerations in setting up and operating a safety patrol program using adult crossing guards.
1. Functions of Guards
Crossing guards should be available to per-form two essential functions:
(1) to provide a safe crossing of the roadway, and
(2) to provide good role models and offer help to young children in appropriate street skills and behavior.
Very young children lack skills, physical development and experience with traffic and street crossings. At ages 7 to 9, most are capable of making successful crossings, but can be distracted easily while crossing and, thus, be exposed to risk. Adults who serve as school crossing guards play important roles in educating children and helping them develop reliable behavior in traffic.
2. Traits of Good Crossing Guards
School crossing guards should be selected based on the following traits:
Guard recruits should demonstrate a reason-able aptitude for street and traffic observance skills. They should be literate, able to evaluate risk and take appropriate actions under conditions to be encountered on the job.
Crossing guards should live nearby, and be familiar with the general neighborhood and the conditions children deal with on a daily basis.
Guards should have an interest in working with children, paying attention to traffic conditions and lots of waiting in all kinds of weather.
Many crossing guards are retired and relatively advanced in years. Make certain that recruits have a good health record, since unexpected absences can be a severe problem for your agency.
Any prior experience with traffic, children, school buses, and related backgrounds will prove helpful. Former teachers, law enforcement, day care, or others of similar professional experience have especially strong potential to become quality guards.
3. Recruitment of Guards 5. Hiring Process
To come up with a sufficiently large pool of qualified applicants, you should advertise widely. Want ads run in the following publications have proven a good source of recruits:
Consider use of the following materials and equipment for your school crossing guards.
5. Hiring Process
Before you hire the guard you will want to go through each of the following steps.
To retain quality guards you should do all you can to help assure that as many of the following benefits are offered.
7. Program Objectives
Make certain that your guards have been well trained to understand each of your program objectives:
8. Training Program
You should offer at least eight hours of training, of which four hours should be in a class-room setting. Training should be repeated each year, and include all guards, veterans and new recruits. The following topics should be covered.
a. Florida crossing guard program
The State of Florida has an excellent publication, Florida School Crossing Guard Training Guideline6 which provides information on trainer training, specific guidelines for training, certifying and supervising crossing guards, a training curriculum and information resources.
The training program requires a minimum of four hours of classroom instruction, two hours of instruction in the field at a real or simulated intersection without children present and two hours of supervised work at the guard's primary post with children present. All phases of training include examinations and/or performance checklists.
The training curriculum includes the following sections:
l Classroom instruction (4 hours)
Purpose and goals of an adult crossing guard program
On-site observation (2 hours)
A 100% score is required to pass the performance test. In addition to this initial supervised observation, field inspections are recommended on a monthly basis.
In-field training (2 hours)
The guard must pass a performance checklist test with 100% accuracy, demonstrating proper signals to pedestrians, signals for alerting traffic and other procedures.
Crossing guards should be trained to deal with difficult situations such as heavy traffic and unsignalized multi-lane roads.
School Safety Patrol Operations Manual, by E. W. Timmons, American Automobile Association (AAA) of Tidewater, Florida; printed by Portsmouth School Board Print Shop; undated,
Policies and Practices for School Safety Patrols. brochure available through AAA Safety School Patrol Member's Handbook, brochure available through AAA
Do School Safety Patrols Fit info Today's Educational System?. by Dr. Dalibor W. Kralovec, Director, Division of Safety Education, Philadelphia Public School System, Philadelphia, PA; distributed by AAA; No. 3129.
Is Liability a Factor Affecting School Safety Patrol Programs Today?, by Dr. Marion A. McGhenhey, Secretary-Treasurer, National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS; distributed by AAA; No 3128.
Florida School Crossing Guard Training Guidelines, Florida Department of Transportation School Crossing Guard Task Force, August, 1993. Far copies contact Leigh Matusick, Administrator/Trainer, Florida School Crossing Guard IProgram, Florida Department of Transportation, District Five, M.S. 4-564, 719 S. Woodland Bloulevard, Deland, FL 32720; (904)943-5600.
Handbook for Adult School Crossing Guards, AAA Traffic Safety Department brochure, undated; No 3153.