The role of a crossing guard is to deliver school children safely across the street while managing traffic to that end. Crossing guards provide an invaluable service by keeping children safe on their way to school, but they also serve as role models for children learning to navigate and respect traffic norms.
The most important aspect of a crossing guard’s job is to remind drivers and pedestrians that they share the road. Road signage indicating crosswalks and school crossings are useful, but the recognizable presence of a crossing guard brings drivers’ attention to the issue of pedestrian safety, especially as it relates to children. Likewise, the presence of a formal safety officer communicates to children that crossing a busy road should be taken seriously.
The crossing guard is not only shuffling school children to safety, but they are also teaching young students to approach a cross walk with a specific safety routine in mind. This routine is beneficial for the safety of the children, as well as the crossing guard. Crossing a street should always involve four basic steps:
- Stopping at the curb
- Looking left, right, then left again
- Check behind for traffic at an intersection
- Continue to monitor traffic while crossing
Crossing guards use hand signals to communicate to a driver to stop. Motioning that it is safe to cross is also a useful gesture to communicate with crossers. A crossing guard’s paddle sends a clear message to drivers, but reflective and bright-colored vests and gloves also catch drivers’ attention and communicate the familiar job functions of the crossing guard.
Procedures for Crossing Guards
It is safest for the crossing guard to stop all traffic before escorting the children across the street. Crossing guards should wait at the curb on the side from which children are approaching and instruct them to stand away from the curb edge and await the signal. Children on bikes should dismount and walk their bike across the street. Make eye contact with the approaching driver and signal for them to stop. Hold stop paddle high to signal to all drivers as you cross to the center of the street. For multiple lanes of traffic, make eye contact with the first driver in each lane.
Once all traffic is stopped, instruct children to cross and continuously look both ways. Remain in the center of the road, with traffic stopped until the children are safely across. Once they reach the other side of the street, resume your position on the opposite curb to await the next group. Timing with a traffic signal or working with a second crossing guard will involve coordination that may modify certain procedures, but for safety, clear communication is always essential.
Vineland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Represent Crossing Guards Injured at Work
If you are a crossing guard who was injured on the job, the Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 856-414-0010 to set up a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.