Message This module's goal is that school crossing guards will use knowledge of their roles and responsiblities in the performance of their duties. The learning objective is that participants will recognize the extent and limits of the responsibilities of a school crossing guard. Ask the Class: What do you think is the primary responsibility of a school crossing guard?
Message The school crossing guard's first concern is for the safety of the students under his or her supervison. It's his or her responsibility and primary duty to use gaps, and where necessary, create gaps in traffic to help students cross the street safely. When traffic flow is heavy at unsignalized crosswalks, a crossing guard may choose opportune times to create adequate gaps for students to cross. Key Point: The school crossing guard's first concern is for the safety of the student under his or her supervision. Key Point: A school crossing guard uses and creates gaps in traffic.
Message Although drivers are obliged to yield, crossing guards do not direct traffic in the regulatory sense, like traffic control officers. Key Point: A school crossing guard does not direct traffic. The use of crossing guards is codified in the Federal Highway Administration Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Section 7E.02 states that adult school crossing guards “may be used to provide gaps in traffic at a school crossing where an engineering study has shown that adequate gaps need to be created and where authorized by law. The Iowa Department of Transportation has adopted the MUTCD by Iowa Code 761-130.1(321). As a school crossing guard, it is not your responsibility, nor do you have the authority to expedite the flow of motor vehicle traffic. You cannot and shall not direct traffic. You use safe gaps and create gaps in traffic. Reference *The Iowa Legislature. Advance Document Search. Iowa Code 2009. http://search.legis.state.ia.us/NXT/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm . Retrieved August 8, 2009. *U.S. Department of Transportation ( USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHA). Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. 2003 Edition, R1 2004 & R2 2007. http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2003r1r2/pdf_index.htm
Message We will go over in more detail using and creating gaps in traffic, and their distinction between “directing traffic”, which we will go over in the next module.
Message Key to a guard's primary responsibility of ensuring the safety of children under their supervision is reminding them of proper crossing techniques. This includes the proper search pattern of looking left-right-left and over one's shoulder for turning traffic which we will discuss in the next module. Observing and reporting conditions or incidents that are hazardous, or may create hazardous situations for pedestrians. This includes, but is not limited to: 1. Inoperative or malfunctioning signals, 2. Missing or obscured traffic signage, 3. Severely worn pavement markings, 4. Dangerous motorist behaviors, 5. A student who consistently does not comply with crossing directions, and 6. Road construction that inhibits safe crossing. It's important that you serve as a positive role model for children. As crossing guards are in a position of authority, and often viewed by children as being police officers, they are automatically looked up to and often emulated. You must exude confidence and gain their trust. Crossing guards are responsible for projecting a positive and professional public image. Although you are not a sworn officer, you are an important asset for safety. It's expected that you project a positive public image. Lastly, in addition to the state laws that govern your roles and responsibilities, you are obligated to follow any applicable city and county ordinances.
Message Adult School Crossing Guards are Eyes on the Street for: 1. Unsafe Driver Behaviors 2. Unsafe Pedestrian Behaviors 3. Unlawful parking 4. Construction interfering with safe crossing 5. Unsafe street conditions 6. Damaged signs 7. Poor visibility 8. Suspicious Activity 9. Improper bicycle helmet use. Reference National Center for Safe Routes to School. SRTS Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines. http://www.saferouteinfor.org/guide/crossing_guard/the_role_of_the_adult_school_crossing_guard.cfm . Retrieved August 17, 2009.
Message In communities that use school safety patrols, crossing guards should understand the school district's policy regarding safety patrols. This will enable both groups to cooperate efficiently and effectively, with a clear understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities. School safety patrols are school sponsored and not under the authority of adult school crossing guards or their responsibility; however, school crossings controlled by an adult guard/safety patrol team can provide maximum crossing protection by allowing the adult to concentrate on traffic while students wait with patrols in a safe location behind the curb. According to AAA's School Safety Patrol Operations Manual, AAA School Safety Patrols are school-sponsored volunteers from upper elementary, middle, and junior high schools. As with adult guards, patrols direct children, not traffic. As school-age leaders in traffic safety, patrol members teach other students about traffic safety on a peer-to-peer basis. They also serve as role models for younger children who look up to them. School safety patrol members: 1. Complete training in traffic safety, 2. Protect students from the hazards of crossing roads and highways on their way to and from school 3. Assist bus drivers in safely transporting students to and from school. 4. Teach fellow students about traffic safety 5. Serve other leadership functions under the direction of school officials Reference AAA. School Safety Patrol Operations Manual. http://www.autoclubgroup.com/common/about_us/Operations_Manual.pdf . Retrieved August 17, 2009.
Message Students shouldn't be used to stop traffic, but can assist the adult crossing guard by reinforcing pedestrian safety and school policies and holding students back fromcurb while adult guard stops traffic.
Message Being professional is essential to effectively carrying out your duties. It also helps you to project your authority while supervising children at yor assigned crosswalk and gives parents confidence in your capability to safely cross their children. Professionalism as a crossing guard has several components: 1. Appearance – Wear a clean and pressed uniform; wear the proper uniform for the weather; be neatly groomed. 2. Behavior – Arrive on time, not too early (dependability); park in a legal parking spot; do not sit, listen to music, read, or conduct personal business while on duty; do not use tobacco products or patronize liquor stores while in uniform; etc. (additional agency or county specific policies may apply). 3. Equipment – Arrive at your assigned crosswalk prepared. Have all of your equipment (Vest, Stop Paddle and/or Gloves, and Whistle). 4. Techniques – Consistently use proper crossing techniques. This includes crisp communications. The techniques that you will learn in the next module are approved and time tested. 5. Also your Demeanor is important. You should be firm in your commands to children and motorists, yet always be pleasant and courteous. Key Point: Guards must be professional to effectively carry out their duties. Ask the Class: Does anyone have any questions about roles and responsibilities of a school crossing guard? This completes Module 5
MODULE 5 - Roles and Responsibilities
School crossing guards will use knowledge of their roles and responsibilities in the performance of their duties.
Participants will recognize the extent and limits of the responsibilities of a school crossing guard.
Adult crossing guards are not responsible for the supervision or assignment of school safety patrol, but should understand how they are being used to enable both groups to operate efficiently and effectively.