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Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation Study



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1.0 INTRODUCTION ………………………………..
…………………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.1 | Study Area …………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
School Characteristics ………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
Adjacent Street Network ……………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
Travel Options to School …………………….. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Drop7off Procedures …………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
Pick7up Procedures…………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
Crossing Guards …………………………….. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
1.2 | Purpose and Need ……………………… …………………………………………………………………………………. 6
2.0 TRAFFIC OBSERVATIONS ………………………… ……………………………………………………………………. 7
2.1 | Turning movements and pedestrian volumes … …………………………………………………………………. 7
2.2 | School Peak Traffic Volumes ……………. ……………………………………………………………………………. 8
3.0 SAFETY ANALYSIS …………………………….. ………………………………………………………………………….. 9
3.1 | Historical Crash Data …………………. ………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
3.2 | Anecdotal Crashes …………………….. …………………………………………………………………………………. 9
4.0 CONGESTION MITIGATION STRATEGIES ……………… ………………………………………………………. 10
4.1 | One7Way Jackson Avenue ………………… …………………………………………………………………………. 10
Short7Term …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10
Long7Term ………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11
4.2 | Shorten Crossing Distances at Jackson and Sa gamore ……………………………………………………. 11
Short7Term …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11

ii October 3, 2014

Long7Term ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
4.3 | Modify Crossing Guard Procedures ……….. ……………………………………………………………………… 12
4.4 | Reduce parents parking on Jackson Avenue at peak times ………………………………………………. 13
Spread out the Staging Areas ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
Designate a Supervised staging area for before scho ol opens …………………………………………………………………………….. 13
Coordinate signing ………………………….. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 14
4.5 | Snow Removal and Storage Polices ……….. …………………………………………………………………….. 14
4.6 | Expand active transportation to/from school ……………………………………………………………………. 14
4.7 | Encourage Carpooling ………………….. ……………………………………………………………………………… 15
4.8 | survey parents’ resistance to active transpo rtation and carpooling …………………………………….. 15
5.0 IMPLEMENTATION MATRIX ……………………….. …………………………………………………………………. 16
5.1 | Short7Term Improvements ……………….. …………………………………………………………………………… 16
5.2 | Long7Term Improvements ………………… ………………………………………………………………………….. 17
5.3 | Recommendations ………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………. 17

FIGURE 1: SCHOOL CAMPUS WITHIN GLENS FALLS …….. ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
FIGURE 2: JACKSON HEIGHTS POPULATION OVER FIVE YEAR S ………………………………………………………………………………… 2
JACKSON AVENUE AND SAGAMORE STREET ……………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 7

FIVE MINUTES DURING THE MORNING DROP/OFF PERIOD … ………………………………………………………………………………………. 8

FIVE MINUTES DURING THE AFTERNOON PICK/UP PERIOD… ……………………………………………………………………………………… 9

FIGURE 9: COLLISION LOCATIONS ………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
FIGURE 10: COLLAPSIBLE TEMPORARY BARRIER……….. ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
FIGURE 11: LONG/TERM CROSSING DISTANCE REDUCTION .. …………………………………………………………………………………… 11
FIGURE 12: CROSSING GUARD IN CROSSWALK ………… …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12



1 . 0 I N T R O D U C T I O N
On behalf of the Adirondack / Glens Falls Transport
ation Council, RSG has conducted an analysis
of traffic operations and overall safety at the Jack son Heights Elementary School in Glens Falls, NY.
The objectives of this study include:
· An evaluation of current access patterns,
· An evaluation of safety issues that are commonly obs erved
· Proposed short*term and long*term congestion mitiga tion strategies with improvements to
the circulation patterns and bicycle and pedestrian safety considerations.
This report summarizes the methods of data collecti on, the analysis techniques, a review of the
alternatives investigated, and short*term and long*te rm recommendations. This study has been
organized into the following sections:
Section 1.0 – Introduction : Provides background information, explains the goal s of this report,
states the formal purpose and need of the study and provides a general description of the campus
area, school characteristics, and adjacent street n etwork within the City of Glens Falls.
Section 2.0 – Traffic Observations: Documents the data collection methodology and prese nts the
observed operational characteristics of the
pick*up and drop*off periods.
Section 3.0 – Safety Analysis: Reviews
the available crash records and documents
anecdotal evidence.
Section 4.0 – Programmatic Congestion
Mitigation Strategies: Presents the
investigations into the various short*term
and long*term congestion mitigation
Section 5.0 – Implementation Matrix :
Summarizes the strategies, costs, project
leaders, and other partners that will
participate in or support the proposed
mitigation techniques.


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Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation study

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1 . 1 | S T U D Y A R E A
The analysis area for this transportation study is the Jackson Heights Elementary School campus and
the adjacent street network, including the Jackson Avenue and Sagamore Street intersection.

Jackson Heights Elementary School is one of three e lementary schools in the Glens Falls School
District. The 75*year*old school serves kindergarten through grade 4, and currently has a population
of 252 students. Figure 2 illustrates annual
enrollment figures for the last five years. A
re*districting occurred in 2011 which
explains the jump in enrollment between the
2010*11 school year and the 2011*12 school
year. Enrolment has varied, but it is
generally considered stable.
Jackson Heights Elementary School is located at the corner of Sagamore Street and
Jackson Avenue, both classified as minor collector roads and seeing relatively low
Study Area
Jackson Heights
Elementary School


volumes. A reduced speed school zone of 15 miles per
hour is designated by speed limit signs and
school warning signs in the vicinity of the campus. The speed limit is 30 miles per hour outside the
school zone. Sanford Street and Ridge Street, desig nated as minor arterials, are located within half a
mile of the school and have speed limits of 30 miles per hour.
Many side streets in the
study area are offset
from each other when
they intersect a main
road. This geometry
creates longer crossing
distances and
complicates vehicle
turning movements.
The Jackson*Sagamore intersection is an
example of this
geometry with the
western leg of Jackson
Avenue farther to the south than the eastern
leg (Figure 3). The
northern crossing on
Sagamore Street is
about 78 feet along the
crosswalk and the
eastern crossing on
Jackson Avenue is about 58 feet along the crosswalk. Pedestrians acce ssing the school by these crossings will require
additional time to cross than at typical crossings.
With the exception of Mauro Avenue, sidewalks are pr esent on at least one side of the street and, in
many cases, on both sides throughout the study area . This network of walkways is generally sufficient
to provide a route to the school from most parts of the school district; sidewalks are recommended
on Mauro Avenue to further encourage pedestrian acce ss to the school campus. Curb ramps in some
places are not flush with the pavement, and maintena nce is required on some sidewalk sections.
Children are able to walk to school, ride their bicycle, or be driven to school. The school district is
classified as a walking school district, meaning th at bus service to and from the school is not offered
for most students. It is assumed that children live close enough to the school that they are able to
walk or bike, but many parents choose to drive their child. Driving is more common on winter days
and during inclement weather.

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Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation study

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Third grade students may participate in a bicycle
safety education program called the Bike Rodeo,
which is offered once per year as the weather warms
up in the spring. Third graders may not bike to
school unless they have participated in this program ;
all fourth graders are allowed to bike to school
regardless of past participation. Bicycle racks are
provided in the front and rear of the school, and
students are required to walk their bikes on school
property. During a site visit with ideal weather
conditions for active commuting, the front rack was
well utilized but had room for additional bicycles.
The rear rack was empty, likely because students do
not arrive near its location. It may be intended for
school employees or for use of the adjacent
recreational fields.
In 2006 and 2008, studies were conducted into travel
mode choice of parents at surrounding schools. The
main reasons for choosing to drive a student to
school rather than walk or bike were safety related ,
including perceptions about crime, and concerns
related to traffic and students walking alone.
Kindergarten through second grade enters at the
main entrance A on Jackson Avenue, and third and
fourth graders enter at entrance C on Sagamore
Street (Figure 4). Students line up in front of the ir
respective entrances starting at 8:10 and are admitt ed
into the building between 8:20 and 8:30. Although
aides are present to monitor the students while the y
are lined up, the school is not technically respons ible
for the students until they enter the building. Thi s
arrangement encourages parents to stay parked in
front of the school until they see their child ente r the
building, which adds to congestion. The school
places cones along the curb to discourage parents
from parking (Figure 5), but parents will attempt t o
park in between them, just outside of them, and
occasionally drive over a cone.


Signs located along Jackson Avenue and Sagamore Stre
et were noted as being confusing, with some
signs saying “no parking stopping or standing any t ime” located between other contradictory “drop*
off and pickup only” signs (Figure 5).
Jackson Avenue frequently experiences congestion dur ing drop*off time. People will park on both
sides of Jackson Avenue, which leaves little room for through traffic or parents exiting. Given the
timing, parents are usually in a hurry to leave, and the congestion and resulting frustration can lead to
arguments between parents. Minor fender benders wer e reported as common, and the school’s front
office receives many complaints. Inclement winter we ather can compound the situation causing more
people to drive, slippery road conditions, and tall snow banks along the side of the road, roadway
width and student access to the school. Several time s in the 2013*2014 school year winter, students
waited inside from 8:10*8:20 to shield them from ver y cold days.
In contrast, drop*off at the Sagamore Street entran ce is not perceived as a problem. The roadway is
wider and longer, giving cars more room to maneuver. Parents are also less likely to wait for the older
children, which reduces congestion. Given the lack o f concern over the Sagamore entrance,
mitigation measures focus on the Jackson Avenue circ ulation and congestion through the Jackson
Avenue / Sagamore Street intersection.
Pick*up procedures differ in that many parents arri ve early, park, and wait for their children. Students
also may wait for their parents outside the school until their parent arrives. They cannot leave the
school until they see their parent. Kindergarten st udents are dismissed at 2:40 and then the remainder
of the students are dismissed at 2:45. Like drop*of f, grades three and four are staged on Sagamore
Street while the lower grades are staged on Jackson Avenue.
Generally, pick*up is more orderly than drop*off be cause some parents park well before their
children are dismissed. Some parents will also park on streets not immediately adjacent to the school
and walk to the school entrance to retrieve their ch ild. Parents and children also tend to congregate
on the sidewalk after school is dismissed, and this mass of people can create an obstacle for children
on bicycles, scooters, and skateboards, particularl y for inexperienced riders. On days where more
parents drive, such as rainy days, the congestion is more significant and causes unsafe situations.
Similar to drop*off, cones are placed along Jackson Avenue and Sagamore Street to discourage
To assist the students in travelling to and from sc hool safely, a crossing guard is located at each of
three intersections:
· Jackson Avenue and Sagamore Street (All*way stop con trolled)
· Jackson Avenue and Ridge Street (Signalized)
· Sanford Street and Ridge Street (Signalized)
The crossing guards are part*time employees of the Glens Falls Police Department whose main
responsibility is to ensure that students cross the street safely. A traffic officer will work with crossing

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Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation study

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guards when they start until they are comfortable with their duties. At unsignalized intersections, a
guard is instructed to stop all traffic to allow a pedestrian to safely navigate the intersection.
Crossing guard procedures were observed at the Jacks on/Sagamore intersection during the site visit.
When a pedestrian approached the intersection, the crossing guard would walk to the center of the
intersection and stop all traffic, including vehicle s that would not be in conflict with the pedestrian ,
then motion the pedestrian to cross the street.
Stopping all traffic prevents turning vehicles from b eing in conflict with pedestrians crossing the
street. However, it also stops some through movements unnecessarily and contributes to queuing at
the approaches. Although observed delays were shorte r than is typically deemed a problem, drivers
became frustrated at not being allowed to proceed w hen they perceived that there was no conflict.
Traffic was also lighter than normal on the day of the site visit due to the large number of students
walking and biking. The long crossing distances com pound this problem by increasing wait time. In
some cases, drivers proceeded through the intersecti on despite the presence of the crossing guard.
This situation put the crossing guard at risk of co llision and increased the likelihood of unintended
vehicle*pedestrian conflict, particularly for the el ementary school age children who may not be aware
of the potential danger of the intersections.
1 . 2 | P U R P O S E A N D N E E D
The purpose of this study is to develop short term a nd long*term recommendations to improve the
safety and use of Jackson Avenue in front of Jackso n Heights Elementary School and the Jackson
Avenue/Sagamore Street intersection during drop*off and pick*up times at the elementary school.
The need for this study is demonstrated by the cong estion and unsafe conditions in the study area.
· Arguments and fender benders between parents droppi ng off and picking up their children
are common in the study area.
· Driver frustration is common and frustrated drivers a re more likely to engage in unsafe
· Elementary school students are less aware their sur roundings than older students or adults
and therefore more likely to unknowingly place them selves in conflict with vehicular traffic.
· A car hit a student on a bicycle close to the study area.
· Congestion during peak times leaves inadequate space for emergency vehicles to park and
maneuver in front of the school.
· Snow events may result in unplowed sidewalks and sno wbanks in pedestrian paths, resulting
in greater potential for pedestrian*vehicle conflict , particularly in the morning.
These conditions present a clear danger to roadway users, both pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
It should be noted that the peak pick*up and drop*o ff periods are short, traffic volumes are low, and
the traffic delay and congestion exhibited at the s chool are acceptable according to industry
standards. Under similar motorist delay circumstanc es in commercial areas or along busy roadways,
an intersection would most likely not exhibit unsaf e conditions. It is likely the impatience of the road
users, or at least some of the road users, that are causing this danger. By increasing the perception of


acceptable delay and the time required to drop off
and pick up their children, the safety issues may
be resolved.
Unfortunately, appealing to poorly behaving drivers i s rarely a viable mitigation strategy. This report
will focus on two areas with the goal of improving s afety. First, we look to minimize the time drivers
and pedestrians spend in conflict points, and, idea lly, remove conflicts. Second, we explore ways to
reduce the congestion and increase the efficiency o f the intersection, thereby reducing frustration
and reducing dangerous behavior. Some strategies wor k towards both of these goals.
2 . 0 T R A F F I C O B S E R V A T I O N S
This analysis examines turning movements at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Sagamore
Street on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 during the mornin g drop*off and afternoon pick*up times as well
as roadway volumes and vehicle speeds on Sanford Stre et and Ridge Street.
2 . 1 | T U R N I N G M O V E M E N T S A N D P E D E S T R I A N V O L U M E S
RSG performed turning movement and pedestrian crossi ngs counts from 7:40*8:40 AM and 2:15*
3:15 PM to capture traffic patterns while students were entering and leaving the school. Data was
recorded in five*minute increments to capture the sh ort peak related to school opening and closing.
The weather was clear and warm, which likely encour aged children to walk or ride their bicycles to
school. On cold, snowy, or rainy days, there are li kely more vehicles present and fewer, if any, people
commuting on foot and bicycle. Figure 8 shows the o bserved morning and afternoon turning
movement and pedestrian counts.

In the morning, half the vehicle traffic is traveling northbound on Sagamore and half of that
continues north on Sagamore. The rest of the traffi c is approximately evenly distributes between the
other three approaches.
Pedestrians crossing a street are shown in a box be hind the turning movements. Bicycles riding on
the sidewalk are included in these numbers. The maj ority of pedestrians (103, including 14 bicycles)
cross Jackson to the east of the intersection while equal numbers (15 at each crossing) cross
Sagamore north and south of the intersection. This pattern indicates that the majority of pedestrian
are traveling northbound on the sidewalk adjacent to Sagamore on their way to and from the school.
In most cases, an adult was observed walking with a child or group of children to the school and
then the same adult was observed walking in the oppo site direction alone after dropping the child

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Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation study

8 October 3, 2014

off. In this case, the adult was double counted, i.e. counted crossing the street first with the child and
then again without the child.
Only three bicycles were observed riding on the stre et during this period.
The afternoon vehicle traffic exhibits similar trend s to the morning with the majority of vehicles
traveling northbound on Sagamore and the remainder o f the traffic approximately evenly distributed
between the other three approaches. Overall, vehicle volumes are slightly lower in the afternoon than
in the morning.
Similar to the morning, the majority of pedestrians (102, including 3 bicycles) cross Jackson to the
east of the intersection. However, a large number of pedestrians (57) also cross Sagamore to the
north of the intersection, while fewer (12) cross S agamore south of the intersection. These numbers
are consistent with observations of parents parking on Jackson west of the intersection and
Sagamore south of the intersection, then walking to the school to pick up their child.
Five bicycles were observed riding on the street duri ng this period.
2 . 2 | S C H O O L P E A K T R A F F I C V O L U M E S
Figure 7 and Figure 8 show the number of vehicles an d pedestrians utilizing the intersection every
five minutes. A clear peak in pedestrian volumes is seen between 8:15 and 8:20 AM when the school
begins to let children enter. Vehicular traffic al so peaks at 8:20, although the trend is less
pronounced. In the afternoon, a clear peak in pede strian traffic is observed at 2:45, which is when
the majority of children are let out of school. How ever, vehicle traffic is largely constant throughout
this period. The lack of a spike in vehicular traffi c is likely due to some parents using the intersect ion
well before school lets out and then parking until they see their child. Others will park before the
intersection and walk to the school to pick up thei r child or not drive at all, thereby avoiding the
intersection. Inclement weather may increase the nu mber of parents driving to pick up their child,
which could create a spike around 2:40*2:45.



3 . 0 S A F E T Y A N A L Y S I S
3 . 1 | H I S T O R I C A L C R A S H D A T A
The Adirondack/Glens Falls Transportation
Council obtained three years of reported crash
data from October 2010 to September 2013,
illustrated in Figure 9. Note that the symbol at
the Sagamore/Sanford intersection represents
two crashes: one vehicle/vehicle collision and
one vehicle/bicycle collision. One collision
occurred at all other symbols.
Figure 9 only includes crashes that were
reported to and recorded by the Glens Falls
Police Department. As such, minor collisions
not reported to the police or collisions
involving small dollar amounts may not be
3 . 2 | A N E C D O T A L C R A S H E S
While no records were available regarding minor collisions, stakeholders noted that a
large number of crashes have occurred on
Jackson Avenue near the school. These are likely low speed collisions associated with vehicles
arriving or departing the school, so damage would be minor. However, the existence of these
collisions shows that congestion is a problem in th e area and that some parents are not paying

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Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation study

10 October 3, 2014

adequate attention to their surroundings as they enter or exit the school. This situation is particularly
dangerous in the presence of young children who may be less observant of traffic. Even at low
speeds, a vehicle collision with a child could cause significant injuries.
4 . 0 C O N G E S T I O N M I T I G A T I O N S T R A T E G I E S
The primary issues that have arisen out of the study are summarized below:
· Congestion during pick*up and drop*off cause to arg uments and fender benders
· Driver frustration is common and can lead to unsafe behaviors.
· Vehicles entering and exiting the school area may c onflict with the children also occupying
that space.
· Congestion and queuing seem excessive for the amount of traffic present in the study area
· Congestion during peak times leaves inadequate space for emergency vehicles to park and
maneuver in front of the school.
The following sections discuss potential strategies that may be employed to address these issues.
4 . 1 | O N E / W A Y J A C K S O N A V E N U E
The Jackson Heights Parent Teacher Association (PTA ) requested that this study consider a one*way
Jackson Avenue. This realignment has a number of adva ntages:
· Simplifies driving on Jackson Avenue and turning movem ents at the intersection
· Prevents vehicles from attempting to turn around on J ackson Avenue
· Unused travel lane can be used for pick*up and drop* off
· Reduces the number of children crossing the Jackson Avenue
· Emergency vehicles will have an easier time navigating the street
It is suggested that Jackson Avenue be made one*way
westbound from Mauro Street to the intersection wit h
Sagamore Street. Cars will drive on the same side of the street
as the school making drop*off and pick*up easier. I f there is
inadequate space for arriving vehicles, they will spi ll back into
Mauro Street rather than the Jackson*Sagamore inter section.
Any proposed changes to the circulation along Jacks on Avenue
should be reviewed and approved by the appropriate em ergency
response personnel.
A one*way Jackson Avenue can be created by placing a temporary barrier such as the one shown in
Figure 10 at the entrance to the eastbound lane of Jackson Avenue. It should be placed such that
drivers exiting Jackson Avenue will see pedestrians w alking in the crosswalk. A Do Not Enter sign
should be placed in front of the barrier to instruc t drivers not enter there. Additionally, a sign telling
drivers to enter at Mauro Street would be useful. Id eally, parents should be notified of this change
before the start of the school year to minimize con fusion when school opens. This barrier should be


removed at the end of the drop*off and pick*up perio
ds to allow two*way traffic on Jackson Avenue
at off*peak times.
With Jackson Avenue operating as one*way, the southe rn side of the street could be designated for
through traffic while the northern side serves as a drop*off and pick*up point for parents. This lane
use will enable through traffic to avoid the school traffic, but it will only be effective if school traffic
leaves after dropping off or picking up a child. Par ents remaining parked until their child enters the
school will prevent the queue of school traffic from advancing and defeat the purpose of the two
lanes. Lane separation may be accomplished with con es.
Setting up and breaking down the signage required for a one*way Jackson Avenue everyday may
become too burdensome for school staff, and a perma nent one*way Jackson Avenue could be
implemented. Simple “Do Not Enter” LED signs may be activated during peak periods, or a more
permanent restriping of the roadway with curb bulb outs at the exit onto Sagamore Street may be
appropriate. This change could have effects beyond s chool operations and an engineering study
would be required to determine costs and benefits a ssociated with making Jackson Avenue one*way.
4 . 2 | S H O R T E N C R O S S I N G D I S T A N C E S A T J A C K S O N A N D S A G A M O R E
A barrier at the entrance to Jackson will allow pedestrians to cross half of Jackson Avenue before
they are in conflict with vehicles, which will reduc e crossing times at the most utilized crosswalk of
the intersection. Shortened crossing times in conju nction with modified crossing guard procedures
that allow non*conflicting traffic to proceed (see below) will significantly reduce congestion at the
Sagamore*Jackson intersection.
The north crossing on Sagamore Street is the longes t at the intersections and is heavily utilized
during pick*up. Shortening that crossing distance i s also desirable, but the offset intersection
provides no short*term mean
for doing so. Any attempt to
square off the intersection by
reducing the radius of the
northeast corner would likely
restrict vehicles turning
westbound*right out of
Jackson Avenue.
Bulb*outs on the northeast
and northwest corners of the
intersection would significantly
reduce the crossing distance,
illustrated in Figure 11. The

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Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation study

12 October 3, 2014

northeast corner currently consists of a wide turn that causes the two longest crossing distances at
the intersection. Extending the sidewalk into the i ntersections also allows parents and children to
congregate on the corner without blocking sidewalk traffic. Finally, this layout reduces the amount of
lane width available to vehicles, which will have a tr affic calming effect. However, this layout will also
likely restrict commercial truck and fire truck man euverability to turn in some directions and an
engineering study will be required to determine the most appropriate design.
Combined with a permanent one*way circulation of Ja ckson Avenue, a bulb out on the southeast
corner of the intersection could further reduce the crossing distance.
4 . 3 | M O D I F Y C R O S S I N G G U A R D P R O C E D U R E S
The current procedure of stopping all traffic when a pedestrian comes to a crosswalk would provide
maximum safety to the pedestrian if drivers consiste ntly followed the crossing guard’s directions.
However, there is potential for unforeseen vehicle*pe destrian conflicts when a driver fails to yield to
the crossing guard. It also creates extra delay for vehicles and contributes to driver frustration. An
alternative method of crossing pedestrians that woul d help alleviate some congestion without
compromising pedestrian safety is outlined below.
Typically, at a four*way stop controlled intersection, drivers will take turns proceeding
through the intersection based on the order of
arrival. Pedestrians could be crossed in a way
that minimizes conflict with vehicle procession
order. For example, if a northbound through
movement is about to proceed through the
intersection, the guard could choose to cross
pedestrians on Jackson Avenue (north*south)
but hold pedestrians on Sagamore Street (east*
west). Alternatively, the guard could choose to stop all traffic if she feels that is warranted in
particular situation.
When crossing pedestrians along a single leg, the g uard should stand in the middle of the crosswalk
with her “STOP” paddle raised when pedestrians are crossing. This will provide an additional visual
clue to drivers that pedestrians are present. Standi ng on the crosswalk that is currently being utilized
will allow other movements to proceed normally. Pede strians should only cross when directed to do
so by the crossing guard. The guard will need to mo ve around the intersection at times to be in the
correct place as pedestrians approach.
An important additional step will be to reeducate s tudents and parents to pay attention to the
crossing guard’s directions. Currently, pedestrians do not need to wait when they approach the
intersection. They will need to learn to watch the guard and wait for a signal to cross. It may be best
to start this new option at the beginning of the sc hool year so that reeducation is not attempting to
overcome any ingrained habits. The school should sen d a letter to parents alerting them of this
change in the summer and again close to the start o f the school year.


Further details about crossing procedures may be fo
und in the Safe Routes to School “Crossing
Guard Guidelines” and the AAA “School Safety Patrol Operations Manual” in the Appendix.
4 . 4 | R E D U C E P A R E N T S P A R K I N G O N J A C K S O N A V E N U E A T P E A K T I M E S
Much of the congestion along Jackson Avenue results from parents remaining parked until their child
enters the school building. The school policy of no t being responsible for the students until they are
inside while allowing parents to drop off their chi ldren before the school is open creates a
responsibility for parents to remain in view of thei r children and therefore parked until 8:20. There
are two approaches to addressing this issue: provide more parking by either spreading the staging
area out or by building an off*site lot, or changin g the school policy to receive the children as they
arrive prior to 8:20.
Currently, two grades utilize entrance C to the bui lding, and three grades utilize entrance A, leaving
an unused entrance at B. It is suggested that Secon d Grade stage may use this entrance, spreading out
the drop*off and pick*up staging areas along Sagamo re Street, which has been noted as having excess
If the school could modify the policy on student arrival and accept children prior to the school day,
parents would not need to remain parked. Children c ould enter the school at their current entrances
and proceed to the back recess area, or wait inside during inclement weather events in the cafeteria or
In the long*term, the school could build a new park ing lot on the northern edge of the property and
use this as new drop*off area. Illustrated in Figur e 13, children would exit the vehicle in the eastern
circular turn around and drop off area. The area to the east this new circulating lot could be fenced
off, which would provide children with a safe, enclo sed area to run and play before school started.


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Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation study

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The proposed lot could also provide approximately 20 new parking spaces and provide truck access
to the rear of the school. Additional study would b e required to determine the exact dimension of the
new lot and how best to handle truck traffic.
Drop*off and pick*up locations should be clearly ma rked. Signs that disallow stopping or standing
should not be used in pick*up locations. Although s topping or standing can be interpreted as
different from dropping off or picking up, it is be st to be unambiguous with sign wording. A sign
directing vehicles to pull forwards should be instal led along Jackson Avenue to encourage drivers
pull as far forward as possible when dropping*off o r picking*up children.
4 . 5 | S N O W R E M O V A L A N D S T O R A G E P O L I C E S
Snow on Jackson Avenue shoulders reduces capacity an d can block emergency vehicle access. The
school should work with the City department respons ible for plowing to prioritize Jackson Avenue
roadway and sidewalk plowing during the school year and ensure that the street if fully cleared of
snow prior to school. Snow can be stored in the spa ces on the corner of Jackson Avenue and Mauro
4 . 6 | E X P A N D A C T I V E T R A N S P O R T A T I O N T O / F R O M S C H O O L
Increasing the number of students that utilize active transportation such as walking or biking as their
primary transportation method to school will decrea se the number of vehicles accessing the campus,
thereby reducing congestion and queuing. Additional benefits to active commuting include:
· Increased levels of physical activity,
· Improved alertness,
· Heightened self*image and independence,
· Contribution to healthy social and emotional develop ment, and
· Increased likelihood of future active lifestyles.
As witnessed during the site visit, Jackson Heights already has a significant number of students and
parents that walk to school. To increase the mode s hare of active transportation, the following
actions are recommended:
· Close any remaining sidewalk gaps, particularly alo ng Mauro Avenue.
· Develop a Safe Route to School plan to ensure that s afe pedestrian routes exist and are
maintained. Share the plan with parents to encourag e them to use safe routes.
· Educate parents on the health, lifestyle, and educa tional benefits of biking and walking to
school; encourage students to walk or bike to schoo l on their own.
· Educate parents on the reality of safety risks on w alking or biking to school, and compare to
the generally higher risk of driving.
· Conduct a second “Bike Rodeo” earlier in the school year to give fourth graders a refresher
on bicycle safety, and provide additional opportunit ies for third graders to bike to school.
· Encourage the formation of “walking school busses” where a group of students walk
together. Walking school busses increase student sa fety while reducing the amount of time
required by parents. See the appendix for additiona l information on walking school busses.


4 . 7 | E N C O U R A G E C A R P O O L I N G
Carpooling will reduce the number of vehicles access
ing the campus and reduce the time required of
parents. The school should try to connect parents i nterested in carpooling who live close to each
other. Implementing a staging area for before schoo l starts will also allow parents of children in
different grades to share carpooling duties.
4 . 8 | S U R V E Y P A R E N T S ’ R E S I S T A N C E T O A C T I V E T R A N S P O R T A T I O N A N D
The Glens Falls School District and Adirondack / Gl ens Falls Transportation Council conducted
studies at Abraham Wing Elementary School and Big C ross Elementary School in 2006 and 2008 to
understand barriers to active transportation modes. A survey of parents’ attitudes will help the school
respond directly to parents’ concerns and stimulate conversation between parents.

Final Report Adirondack / Glens Falls Transportation Council
Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation study

16 October 3, 2014

5 . 0 I M P L E M E N T A T I O N M A T R I X
The implementation task schedule for the proposed mitigation strategies follows below:
5 . 1 | S H O R T / T E R M I M P R O V E M E N T S
Proposal Description and Responsible Party (RP) App roximate Cost
One*Way Jackson Avenue Set up temporary barrier and signage at the
entrance to Jackson Avenue
RP: School District $2,000 for
equipment; daily staff
Shorten Crossing Distances Use the temporary barrie
RP: School District, Grossing Guard Accomplished with
one*way Jackson Ave

Modify Crossing Guard
Procedures Minimize the conflict between vehicles and
crossing pedestrians
RP: School District, Grossing Guard, Glens
Falls Police Department Police Department
Coordinate Signing Update signing to have unified me
RP: School District, DPW $200 / sign,
total of $2,000
Spread Out Morning
Staging Area
Line up second graders at entrance C
RP: School District Minimal; notice to
Designate Supervised
Staging Area
Allow students to wait in gym, cafeteria, or
classroom rather than outside in the morning
RP: School District, PTA Varies depending on
available staff
resources and
Snow Removal and Storage Designate a snow storage ar ea and completely
plow Jackson Avenue
RP: DPW, School District None additional;
snow removal
currently occurs
Expand Active
Transportation Develop Safe Routes to Schools Plan, Form
walking school busses
RP: School District, PTA Minimal; educational
/ promotional
Encourage Carpooling Develop a portal to connect par
interested in carpooling
RP: School District, PTA, DPW Minimal; educational
/ promotional


5 . 2 | L O N G / T E R M I M P R O V E M E N T S
Proposal Description and Responsible Party (RP) App
roximate Cost
One*Way Jackson Avenue
and / or Shorten Crossing
Distances Perform engineering study, neck down
Jackson Avenue exit with bulb*outs
RP: DPW $60,000 – 75,000
Designate Supervised
Staging Area / North
Parking Lot
Install a new parking area north of school,
fence off staging area
RP: DPW, School District, PTA $500,000 * $600,000
Expand Active
Transportation Develop Safe Routes to Schools Plan, Form
walking school busses
RP: School District, PTA Minimal; educational
/ promotional
Encourage Carpooling Develop a portal to connect par
interested in carpooling
RP: School District, PTA, DPW Minimal; educational
/ promotional
Survey Parents Determine the resistances to active
RP: School District Varies depending on
complexity of survey;
school could
administer for
minimal funds

5 . 3 | R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S
Of the short*term proposals, all of them can be imp lemented immediately in the 2014 – 2015 school
year and will likely improve congestion and safety. Some of the proposals, such as temporary, one*
way closure of Jackson Avenue, may be best approache d as a short term pilot study with parental
feedback. Others, such as encouraging greater active transportation, conducting a bike rodeo earlier
in the school year, and moving the Second Grade entr ance, can be implemented immediately.
The long*term proposals are also all valid recommend ations. The behavioral surveys and
programmatic modifications to encourage greater wal king and biking should be pursued given their
relatively low initial cost. The bulb*outs and reduc ed crossing distance at the Jackson*Sagamore
intersection will yield the greatest improvement in pedestrian safety and congestion mitigation. As
part of a comprehensive strategy to encourage walkin g and biking, it is recommended that the School
District and City of Glens Falls collaborate with t he A/GFTC to seek funding for the reduced
crossing widths at the Jackson*Sagamore intersectio n, perhaps in conjunction with new sidewalk
construction along Mauro Avenue.

A P P E N D I X A . S A F E R O U T E S T O S C H O O L : C R O S S I N G

Adult School
Crossing Guard Guidelines
Prepared by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, both part of the
University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Safe Routes
National Center for Safe Routes to School

Safely Crossing the Street � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 1
Role of the Adult School Crossing Guard
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Elements of a Crossing Guard Program
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Identifying the Locations Where Adult School Crossing Guards are Needed
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Hiring and Training Adult School Crossing Guards
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Uniform and Equipment for Adult School Crossing Guards
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Funding the Adult School Crossing Guard Program
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Crossing Procedures for a Variety of Situations
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An Unsignalized Crosswalk
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A Signalized Crosswalk
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When Two or More Adult School Crossing Guards are Needed
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When an Emergency Situation Arises
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� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 14
Table of Contents

Safely Crossing the Street
Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 1
Adult school crossing guards play an important role in
the lives of children who walk or bicycle to school � They
help children safely cross the street at key locations � They
also remind drivers of the presence of pedestrians � The
presence of adult crossing guards can lead to more parents
feeling comfortable about their children walking or bicy –
cling to school� While the primar y role of an adult school
crossing guard is to guide children safely across the street,
children also remain responsible for their own safety � In
this manner, a guard plays another key function–a role
model helping children develop the skills necessar y to
cross streets safely at all times�
The design and implementation of an adult school
crossing guard program is largely the decision of local
communities� Some federal guidance exists and there
are some state and local requirements pertaining to the
operation of guard programs, but these var y across the
countr y � State or local law enforcement, education or
transportation agencies can provide infor mation on
state and local requirements �
Ideally, the development of an adult school crossing
guard program should involve a communit y partnership
that includes the expertise of law enforcement agencies,
traf fic engineer ing or planning departments and school
systems� Working together with parents, this lead orga-
nization or group identifies the locations where adult
school crossing guards are needed and the appropr iate
number of guards for each location � The group estab-
lishes crossing procedures for a variety of traffic situa –
tions as well as hires, trains and equips the guards and
secures long-term funding for the program �
This document describes federal standards and recom –
mendations for adult school crossing guard practices and
provides examples of how some states and communities
address these issues �
The presence of adult crossing
guards can lead to more
parents feeling comfortable
about their children walking
or bicycling to school.

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 2
The Role of the Adult School Crossing Guard
The primar y responsibility of an adult school crossing
guard is to help children safely cross the street as they
walk or bicycle to and from school �
A well-trained adult school crossing guard can help to ac –
complish the following goals:
• Discourage children from behaving unsafely near
traffic, such as darting into the street without look –
ing or crossing against a traffic signal� A guard can
encourage safe behavior by all pedestrians at the
school crossing�
• Use existing gaps in traffic to help students cross
safely� When the natural traffic flow does not allow
enough time for children to safely cross a street, a
guard may need to create gaps by stopping traffic
temporarily � The guard stops traffic with hand sig-
nals or a STOP paddle, then verbally directs chil –
dren to cross the street� A guard is always the first
person in the street and the last person out of the
• Alert motorists that pedestrians are in the process of
using the school crossing �
• Observe and report any incidents or conditions that
present a potential safety hazard to the school chil –
dren or the guard�
An adult school crossing guard should not direct traffic
unless specifically trained as a traffic control officer �
Wilmington, DE
Ad u lt S c h o o l C r o s s i n g G u a r d s a r e Eye s
on the Street for:
• Unsafe driver behaviors
• Unsafe pedestrian behaviors
• Unlawful parking
• Construction interfering with safe crossing
• Unsafe street conditions
• Damaged signs
• Poor visibility
• Suspicious activity
• Improper or lack of safety belt or bicycle hel-
met use

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 3
Elements of an Adult School Crossing
Guard Program
Bringing together the right members of the community
is the first step in creating a successful adult school cross –
ing guard program� The school administration, teachers,
local traffic engineers, law enforcement officers and par –
ents are among the partners that bring information and
expertise to the process and make the steps in setting up
an adult school crossing guard program an easier process
to manage � A local committee consisting of this group
along with other interested members of the community
should be established to oversee an adult school crossing
guard program �
The adult school crossing guard lead organization is re –
sponsible for:
• identifying locations where guards are needed, the
number of guards and proper signage for each loca –
tion, and the time period for crossings;
• hiring and training guards in their responsibilities;
• providing uniforms and equipment to help guards
effectively perform their duties; and
• securing funds to manage the program.
Brichta Elementary School, Tucson, AZ
MUTCD Provides National Guidance
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
2003 (MUTCD) contains national standards for the
installation and maintenance of traffic control de-
vices and is published by the Federal Highway Ad-
ministration under the Code of Federal Regulation.
Some MUTCD statements are considered manda-
tory, while others are recommended practices, per-
missive practices, or simply statements of support.
Part 7 of the MUTCD addresses Traffic Controls for
School Areas (See Resources)

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 4
Identifying the Locations Where Adult School Crossing Guards are Needed
No absolute national criteria exist for identifying which street crossings in a community require an adult school
crossing guard. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) provides some general federal guidance
on how to determine the need for a guard at a particular location � Some states and local governments provide fur-
ther guidance or recommendations, but the conditions under which a guard is assigned to a particular location var y
around the countr y � The local lead organization decides the selection criteria by which adult school crossing guards
are assigned to crossings � Location decisions reflect relevant federal, state and local policies and funding issues, and are
tailored to the individual conditions and needs of a community �
T he loca l lead org a n i z at ion ident i fie s locat ion s for g u a rd s
by establishing criteria and gathering information to help
them determine the need� Adult school crossing guards
shou ld be a ssig ned to school crossi ng s on ly a f ter the need
is established� Consistently applied local cr iter ia al low a
community to provide guard service where schools need
them the most � No set of guidelines, however, can cover
all the unique conditions that may exist � There are times
when traffic engineering judgment is needed to deter –
m ine when and where an adult school crossing g uard
should be used �
Information to consider when identifying guard placement
The age of the students who are crossing.
General ly, younger children need more assistance than older
children because they have a more difficult time judging
the speed and distance of approaching vehicles and may be
tempted to cross during an unsafe gap �
The width of the street and the number of lanes of
traffic students must cross.
Wide streets with multiple lanes of traffic typically require
the use of two or more adult school crossing guards �
The sight distance at the crossing.
These conditions are measured from the student’s and driv –
er’s perspectives and for actual vehicle operating speeds� Sight distance can be affected by temporar y obstructions,
such as parked vehicles and piled snow near the crossing�
Safe gaps in traffic.
Are the gaps long enough and frequent enough to allow safe crossing opportunities? The ITE “School Trip Safet y
Program Guidelines” (See Resources) states that on the average, at least one adequate gap should occur each minute
to allow for children to cross without undue delay or risk � However, other factors, such as volume of child pedestri-
ans or pedestrian groups should also be considered when determining the need for adult school crossing guards or
Defining “A Safe Gap in Traffic”
The MUTCD 2003 Section 7E.02 states that adult
school crossing guards “may be used to provide
gaps in traffic at a school crossing where an engi-
neering study has shown that adequate gaps need
to be created and where authorized by law.” An
acceptable gap may be defined as the minimum
time between vehicles that 85 percent of all groups
of pedestrians waiting to cross a street will accept
as adequate to cross the street, according to the
Institute of Transportation Engineer’s “School Trip
Safety Program Guidelines.”
If there is at least one safe gap per minute of cross-
ing time, there may be no need for any special traf-
fic controls. If, however, there is not at least one
safe gap per minute, officials should consider using
an adult crossing guard or traffic signal to create
safe gaps.
In practice, this analysis is time-consuming to cal-
culate and may discourage agencies from attempt-
ing such an evaluation. Traffic speed, width of the
street and the age of the children are also important
considerations in determining if a crossing location
will benefit from an adult school crossing guard.

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 5
other traffic control� If traffic volumes during crossing hours do not correspond to enough safe gaps, some method
to interrupt traffic should be considered, such as a crossing guard or traffic signal �
Presence of traffic control devices, including traffic
signals, signs and pavement.
If present, are the traffic controls sufficient? For example, a
signalized intersection at a school crossing location should
h ave WA L K / D ON ’ T WA L K s i g n a l s , a n d a p e d e s t r i a n pu s h
button may also be appropriate � Guards and students should
be properly trained on traffic signals relative to safe street
The speed of vehicles at the crossing.
Vehicles that travel faster require greater stopping distanc –
es, and younger children have more difficulty than adults
judging the speed of a fast-approaching vehicle �
Volumes of traffic and pedestrians.
Local transportation planning or engineering departments
can provide or help collect these data� Vehicle counts may
be readily available, but pedestrian counts will likely need
to be made during this process� The number of students
California Criteria for the Placement
of Adult School Crossing Guards
The State of California provides criteria for the place-
ment of adult school crossing guards in the MUTCD
2003, California Supplement. Adult school cross-
ing guards normally are assigned where at least 40
school pedestrians over the course of two hours each
day cross a public highway on the way to or from
school. Guards also should be considered when spe-
cial situations make it necessary to assist elementary
school pedestrians in crossing the street.
In some cases, a change in the school crossing loca-
tion is underway, but prevailing conditions require
crossing supervision until the change is completed,
so a guard should be considered. Additional criteria
are provided for specific situations, including un-
controlled crossings, stop sign-controlled crossings
and traffic signal-controlled crossings. The criteria
are based on vehicular traffic volume, vehicle speed
and the number of vehicular turning movements.
Arizona Requirements for the Placement
of Adult School Crossing Guards
Arizona State Law (ARS Section 28-797-D) man-
dates an adult school crossing guard at a yellow
15 mph school crosswalk if the school crosswalk
is not adjacent to the school site. These guards are
employed by the school district. Adult school cross-
ing guards are recommended, but not required, by
state law at 15 mph school zone crossings that are
adjacent to the school site. These guards may be
either employed by the school district or be vol-
unteers, who have been trained and approved by
the school district. (Traffic Safety for School Areas
Guidelines, ADOT)
The City of Phoenix requires adult school crossing
guards for elementary school crossings on busy col-
lector streets and arterial streets. In some cases, two
guards may be recommended. At white-painted
crosswalks and signalized crossings, guards can be
recommended using a method based on observa-
tion and engineering judgment using specific criteria
such as street classification and the age of students.
Pedestrian Signal Heads
Pedestrian signal heads provide information to con-
trol pedestrian traffic. Chapter 4E of the MUTCD
lists the meaning of pedestrian signal indicators.
A steady WALK (walking person) signal means
that a pedestrian facing the signal may start to
cross the street. A flashing DON’T WALK (upraised
hand) signal means that a pedestrian shall not start
to cross the street, but that any pedestrian who
has started to cross shall finish crossing. A steady
DON’T WALK (upraised hand) signal means that a
pedestrian shall not enter the street.

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 6
currently using pedestrian facilities as well as the projected pedestrian demand based on school demographics should
be determined�
The attendance boundary and walk zone for each school.
The distances that walk zones extend from schools as well as policies regarding the provision of bus service differ
among states and communities � Both can impact the number of children walking to school and the routes they take �
The distance the crossing is from a school and the type of adjacent land use.
A crossing in close prox im it y to a school w ithin a residentia l neighborhood may attract more student pedestr ians than,
for example, a crossing located further from a school surrounded by non-residential land uses �
Crash history of the crossing.
The number, type and time of day that each crash occurs at a specific location should be recorded and analyzed �
Hiring and Training Adult School Crossing Guards
The hiring, training, supervising and funding of adult
school crossing guards is typically the responsibility of lo-
cal law enforcement agencies, traffic engineering depart –
ments, individual schools or school districts�
An adult school crossing guard can be a paid employee or
a volunteer member of the community� Paid employees
may be preferred because an employer has the ability to
train, evaluate and discipline an employee � Ever y prospec-
t ive g u a r d s hou ld u nd e r g o a b a s ic phy s ic a l e x a m i n a t ion a nd
cr im inal background check � A guard should have good vi-
sion, hearing and mobility, be able to stand for long periods
of time outdoors and to communicate well with others �
It is critical that a guard can communicate clearly with
the children he or she supervises at the crossing� If a guard
cannot adequately read or understand English, training
materials must be provided in a language in which the
guard is proficient� Ideally, a guard should have good Eng-
lish language skills �

Adu lt school crossi ng g ua rd t r a i n i ng is a n essent ia l step to
help insure that the guard is performing properly � Train-
ing should be extended to substitute guards as well as
those who supervise the crossing guards � Training meth-
ods include both classroom instruction and field exercises
and should address:
• The basic traffic laws of the community.
• School zone signage and pavement markings.
Training in Florida
The State of Florida’s Department of Transportation
has developed uniform training guidelines, and each
local government in Florida that administers a school
crossing guard program is required to provide training
for its guards according to the guidelines. For more
information visit /safety /
ped_bike /brochures /pdf/SCG%20Training%20
Training in North Carolina
According to the office of the North Carolina At-
to r n ey G e n e ral, s ch o o l cro s sing guards may b e co n-
sidered traffic control officers when proper train-
ing is provided as specified in North Carolina GS
20-114.1, the law that addresses the training and
appointment of traffic control officers. In 1998,
The Nor th Carolina Depar tment of Transpor tation’s
Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation
developed a program to train the local law enforce-
ment officers who are responsible for training adult
school crossing guards in their jurisdictions.

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 7
• Proper use and purpose of traffic signs and signals.
• Methods of signaling drivers and taking advantage of traffic gaps.
• Crossing procedures and ways to teach them to children.
• Site-specific traffic factors and potential traffic hazards.
• Professional work responsibilities, including agency rules and regulations, who the guard’s supervisor is, the
proper chain of command and legal aspects of the job �
• Proper attire and behavior to remain safe and to project a positive public image. For example, while on the job, a
guard should not wear clothing that is in poor taste or that promotes alcohol, tobacco or similar products � Also,
a guard should not carr y or use tobacco products or use foul language� Adult school crossing guards project a
positive public image and serve as a role model for children. (For more information see Uniforms and Equip-
• Proper use of safety equipment.
• The safety issues and limitations of children as pedestrians.
• Procedures for crashes involving adult school crossing guards and children on their way to or from school.
• Emergency procedures. (For specific information see When an emergency situation arises under Crossing pro-
• Protecting the health and welfare of the guard while working, including topics such as proper attire to increase vis-
ibility, the need for hydration, sun protection, bee sting treatment and how to respond to threats from loose dogs �
Uniforms and Equipment for Adult
School Crossing Guards
An adult school crossing guard wears a uniform and uses
equipment that is highly visible and easily identifiable by
the general public� This enhanced visibility allows motor-
ists and pedestrians to see the guard and the signal the
guard presents more clearly �
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
(MUTCD) recommends that an adult school crossing
guard be uniformed so that street users and pedestrians can
recognize the guard and respond to the guards’ signals � The
guard uniform should be distinctively different from those
worn by regular law enforcement officers � Adult school
crossing guards should wear retro-reflective traffic vests �
The MUTCD provides guidelines for such high-visibility
retro-reflective safety apparel to be worn by guards �
The MUTCD recommends that a guard use a STOP pad-
dle as the primary hand-signaling device � States and local governments address hand-signaling devices in a variety of
ways � Some jurisdictions require the use of a STOP paddle, others recommend its use, and yet others recommend its use
in conjunction with hand-signals. If a STOP paddle is used, the MUTCD sets guidelines on the shape, size and design
National Stop Paddle Requirements
The MUTCD only recommends the use of a STOP
paddle. If a paddle is used, the following standard
The MUTCD states: “The STOP paddle shall be an
octagonal shape. The background of the STOP
face shall be red with at least 150 mm (6 in) capi-
tal white letters and border. The paddle shall be
at least 450 mm (18 in) in size and have the word
message STOP on both sides. The paddle shall
be retro-reflectorized or illuminated when used
during hours of darkness.” Finally, the MUTCD
provides options for modifications to the STOP
paddle, including the addition of flashing lights,
to improve its visibility.

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 8
of the paddle�Other potential pieces of guard equipment
include gloves, a hat and a whistle � Wearing a hat gives a
guard a more official appearance and can enhance his or
her visibility, as well as protect the guard from the sun,
cold, and rain� Whistles may help a guard gain the atten-
tion of children at noisy intersections �
If a guard is equipped with two-way radios or cell phones,
they must be used only in emergencies � A guard should
never answer the phone or radio while crossing children �
In fact, some agencies prohibit cell phones to avoid dis-
As the local committee identifies what type of equipment
to use, it should also decide on guidelines that will explain
when equipment is considered unsuitable for use� For exam-
ple, a guard should not use old, defaced or worn out STOP
paddles or safety vests that are no longer reflective or that
have faded �
Funding the Adult School Crossing
Guard Program
Stable and sufficient funding is important to the effective
operation of any adult school crossing guard program �
Across the nation, a variety of sources have been used�
Communities have obtained financial resources through
taxes, local school boards, sheriff, police, public works and
traffic engineering departments, and through surcharges
on parking fines� Public and private organizations as well
as Parent-Teacher Associations or Organizations also have
contributed funding for guard programs �
Estes Hills Elementary School, Chapel Hill, NC
Photo by Paul Kendall
State Variations on Stop Paddle
Requirements and Uniforms
The MUTCD 2003 California Supplement requires
the STOP paddle to be the primary hand-signaling
device and allows for the use of a larger paddle
where speeds are 30 mph or more and guards
need greater visibility.
The State of Florida requires an adult school cross-
ing guard to wear a high-visibility, retroreflective
outer garment (vest, shirt, or rainwear) that is la-
beled as ANSI 107-2004 standard performance
for Class 2 risk exposure. The apparel background
material shall be either fluorescent yellow green or
fluorescent orange-red. A guard shall be equipped
with a whistle, as well as a STOP Paddle that is
MUTCD compliant and /or orange or yellow-green
gloves that include retroreflective material. (If both
gloves and stop paddle are used, the gloves need
not include retroreflective material.)
The State of North Carolina strongly recommends
the use of hand-held signs or STOP paddles, but al-
lows the local governing agency to decide whether
a guard uses either a STOP paddle or an orange-
gloved hand, or both.

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 9
Crossing Procedures for a Variety of Situations
Recommended procedures are described below for an adult school crossing guard to follow when crossing chil-
dren in a variety of traffic situations� The information was compiled from the Arizona Handbook for Adult School
Crossing Guards, the Florida School Crossing Guard Training Guidelines and the North Carolina School Crossing
Guard Program: Training Manual (See Resources at end of this document for further information.)
Procedures are described for guards in situations at un –
signalized crosswalks and signalized crosswalks, when
two or more adult school crossing guards are needed, and
when an emergency arises � Some intersection configura-
tions, including T-intersections, roundabouts or free-flow
right turn lanes, require that the local committee consider
these unique situations when establishing the procedure
for crossing children �
In ever y situation, a guard uses the proper search pattern
for crossing a street and encourages student pedestrians to
follow these safety steps � This pattern is:
1� Stop at the curb or edge of the street �
2� Look left, right, then left again for traffic�
3� Look over the shoulder for possible turning vehicles if the pedestrian is standing at an intersection �
4� Walk directly across the street at a consistent pace and continue scanning the street while crossing the street �
For stopping motorists, the MUTCD recommends that an adult school crossing guard use a STOP paddle as the pri-
mar y hand-signaling device � However, many jurisdictions around the countr y allow guards to use clearly delivered
hand signals, alone or in conjunction with the STOP paddle, to alert traffic to activity at school crossings � The proper
hand signal for a guard to alert and stop traffic requires a guard to raise his or her arm forward and toward traffic,
and parallel to the ground with the palm and fingers flexed upward� The use of hand signals requires a higher level
of training than the use of STOP paddles, and guards using hand signals will benefit from wearing white or bright
orange gloves to attract drivers’ attention�
State Street School, Windsor, V T

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 10
An Unsignalized Crosswalk
At unsignalized crosswalks, it is the responsibility of the
crossing guard to determine when children cross based on
gaps in traffic flow� A guard who is assigned to an unsig-
nalized crosswalk on an undivided street should:
• Stand near the curb or edge of the street, on the side
from which children are approaching�
• Stop children a safe distance back from the curb or
edge of the street, or behind a “stand-back” line (see
bottom photo). Instruct children to cross only on the
guard’s signal �
• Teach children who approach a crossing on a bicycle,
scooter, or skateboard to dismount and push the bi –
cycle or scooter or carr y the skateboard across the
street as a pedestrian �
• A guard enters the street in the following sequence:
1� Wait for a gap in traffic on the guard’s side of the
2� Face the closest oncoming traffic and make eye
contact with the approaching drivers�
3� Walk to the center of street with the STOP pad-
dle held high� If not using a STOP paddle, walk
to the center of the street with an arm raised to –
ward traffic and parallel to the ground with the
palm and fingers extended upward�
4� Where there are more than two lanes, enter the
street and alert the traffic one lane at a time �
5� Face opposite approaching traffic and make eye contact with those drivers�
6� Stand on the crosswalk line close to the center of the street and make sure that all traffic has stopped, including
any turning vehicles�
7� Face the intersection�
8� Verbally instruct the children to cross and tell them to look left-right-left while crossing and proceed across
the street within the marked crosswalk�
9. Do not allow any cars to cross the crosswalk until all the students have crossed.
10� Remain in the center of the street until the last child reaches the opposite side of the street�
11� Walk to the curb or edge of the street with the STOP paddle and/or stop-arm held high the entire way � When
back at the curb or edge of the street, lower hand(s) and allow traffic to flow again.
12� Remain near the curb or edge of the street for the next group of children to assemble �
Photo by Dan Burden

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 11
A Signalized Crosswalk
A variety of traffic and pedestrian signals are found at
signalized crosswalks including traffic signals with stan-
dard pedestrian signal heads and, in some locations, traf –
fic signals with pedestrian countdown signals which show
pedestrians how much crossing time remains � Signalized
crosswalks may also have pedestrian pushbuttons which
are electronic buttons used by pedestrians to change the
traffic signal timing� An adult school crossing guard should
be trained in the proper use of the signal at the crossing
where he or she will work �
In general, a guard stands in the center of the street while
students cross the crosswalk � If the signal’s timing is too
short to allow this approach, however, the local committee
should take steps to remedy the situation � For example, more guards could be assigned to the crosswalk, more time
could be added to the signal or the guard could escort the students across the entire street and return to his or her
original starting position on the next signal cycle � If a guard escorts students across the entire street, the guard must
instruct the other children to wait until he or she returns before crossing �
A guard who is assigned to signalized crosswalks has this sequence to follow:
• Stand on the side of the street from which children are approaching. If there is a pedestrian push button, push
the button for a WALK signal �
• Group children a safe distance from the curb or edge of the street or behind the “stand-back” line. Instruct
children to cross only at the guard’s signal �
• Teach children who approach a crossing on a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard to dismount and push the bicycle or
scooter or carr y the skateboard across the street as a pedestrian �
• Enter the street in this sequence:
1� Enter the street only with a WALK signal, and the STOP paddle or stop-arm held high� Stand on the crosswalk
line closest to the intersection�
2� Face oncoming traffic and make eye contact with drivers who are attempting to turn�
3. Verbally instruct the students to begin their search (left, right, left and over their shoulders, for turning traffic)
and cross when safe �
4. Tell the students to continue walking if the signal changes to flashing “DON’T WALK”, but do not allow chil-
dren to start crossing at this time. Help students learn that a flashing “DON’T WALK” signal means Don’t Start.
5� Wait for children to reach the opposite side of the street�
6� Return to the curb or edge of the street with your STOP paddle or stop-arm held high� After reaching the
curb or edge of the street, a guard can lower his or her hand(s) and allow traffic to flow again.

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 12
When Two or More Adult School
Crossing Guards are Needed
For signalized or unsignalized crossings with four or
more lanes, experts recommend using two adult school
crossing guards working in unison, with one guard posi –
t ione d on e a ch s id e of t he st re et� E a ch g u a rd st a nd s on t he
crosswalk line closest to the approaching traf fic for his or
her half of the street and between the approaching traffic
and the students �
A team of two or more guards should be assigned to school
crossings at divided streets to help children cross safely �
One guard stops one stream of traffic while the other guard
stops traffic in the opposite lanes� In order to coordinate
signaling, the guard on the side of the street from which
children are approaching makes the decisions, with the
second guard taking his or her cues from the first guard �
Guards should not cross students during the protected left
turn signal when the DON’T WALK signal flashes and
ensure that all right-turning vehicles yield while students
are crossing �
More than two guards may also be needed at an intersec –
tion of two major arterial streets where children must cross
two or more legs of the intersection �
Photo by Dan Burden
Red octagons represent adult school crossing guard loca-
tion on a multi-lane road.

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 13
When an Emergency Situation Arises
During a guard’s duty, emergency situations, such as a sudden illness or an injur y due to a crash, may occur near the
school crossing � In the case of an emergency, a guard must stay at his or her post, keep control of the situation, and
use the following basic procedure to ensure the children’s safety:
1� Stop crossing the children �
2� Group the children away from the street to maintain
control �
3� Remain at the assigned post with the children �
4� Ask several people to call 911 �
5. Do not move the victim, unless the victim is in seri-
ous and immediate danger of being struck by another
6 � Use a vehicle to block the crash victim from traf-
fic, if necessar y � The vehicle should be positioned a
distance away from the victim to provide protection
from other vehicles but, if struck would not endanger
the victim or rescue workers �
7� Always notify the supervisor as soon as possible of any emergency that occurred �
When fire trucks, ambulances or other emergency vehicles approach the crossing with emergency lights and sirens in
use, the guard keeps children out of the street and a safe distance away from the crossing until the emergency vehicles
have passed�
Ideally, a guard should take a first aid short course and a CPR class offered by the Red Cross or the local Fire Depart-
ment to learn the best way to respond to an emergency situation �

Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines v 14
• AAA video for sale Between the Lines: Adult School Crossing Guard Training.
products/index.cfm?button=item-detail&ID =404&storeid=1 [Accessed: 08/14/06]
• Arizona Handbook for Adult School Crossing Guards, City of Phoenix (1-602-262-4659) and A A A Arizona
(602-241-2933 or 1-800-352-5382 ext. 2933).
• Florida School Crossing Guard Training Guidelines, Florida Department of Transportation, Safety Office and
the Florida School Crossing Guard Task Force, 1998 � http://www�dot �state �fl �us/safety/ped_bike/brochures/
pdf/SCG %20Training%20Guidelines2009.pdf [Accessed: 09/21/09]
• Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, Part 7 Traffic Controls for School Areas,
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 2003. http://mutcd.f
2003r1/Ch7.pdf [Accessed: 03/07/06]
• Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 2003: California Supplement, State of California Business, Trans-
portation and Housing Agency, Department of Transportation, 2004.
tech/mutcdsupp/pdf/MUTCD2003CASupp.pdf [Accessed: 03/07/06]
• North Carolina School Crossing Guard Program: Training Manual, North Carolina Department of Transporta-
tion, Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation, 1999.
• School Trip Safety Program Guidelines: Recommended Practice, Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1984.
(out of print)
• Traffic Safety for School Areas Guidelines, Arizona Department of Transportation, 2003.
highways/Traffic/standards/School_ Safety/Schoolsafety.pdf [Accessed 03/07/06]
Prepared by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, both part of the
University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Information provided by
Florida Department of Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transportation,
Arizona Department of Transportation, Cit y of Phoenix Street Transportation Department
National Center for Safe Routes to School

Final Report Adirondack / Glens Falls Transportation Council
Jackson Heights Elementary School Transportation study

A P P E N D I X B . A M E R I C A N A U T O M O B I L E A S S O C I A T I O N :


Message from AAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Role of the Safety Patrol . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Forming Your Patrol
AAA role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
School role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Parent Teacher Association role . . . . .6
Law Enforcement role . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Community role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Safety of Patrols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
“Stranger Danger” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Securing Official School Authorization . . .9
Limiting Liability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Organization, Training and Operation
Selecting the Patrol Supervisor . . . . . . .10
Selecting Patrol Members . . . . . . . . . . .11
Selection of Intersections . . . . . . . . . . .12
Parental Permission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13-14
Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Officer Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Officer Duties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Length of Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Equipment Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Daily Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19Mechanics of the Street Patrol . . . . .19
Determining the Gap . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Record Keeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Agenda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Minutes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Supervision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
On Patrol
Role of Patrol
at Signalized Intersections . . .23
Bus Loading and Unloading . . . . . . . . .23
On the Bus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Car Pools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Reporting Dangerous Practices . . . . . . .25
Role of Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Role of Adult Crossing Guards . . . . . . .26
Supporting Your Patrol Program
School Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Fundraising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Morale Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Recognition Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Lifesaving Award Medal . . . . . . . . . .30
National Patroller of the Year . . . . . .31
Related Programs and Resources
School’s Open Drive Safely . . . . . . . . . .32
Best Route to School . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Top Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Table of Contents

Proud AAA tradition
AAA School Safety Patrols play an important role in helping young pedestrians learn and
fulfill responsibilities regarding traffic safety.
Millions of U.S. boys and girls have honorably served their classmates since the AAA
School Safety Patrol program was started in the early 1920s. Interest in the program has
spread around the world. At least 30 other countries, including New Zealand, the
Netherlands, England, Germany and France, have emulated the AAA School Safety Patrol
program. The experience is the same — a reduction in traffic death rates.
Boys and girls who contribute their time as AAA School Safety Patrols deserve special thanks
for their efforts. AAA recognizes the AAA School Safety Patrol program as an outstanding
school safety activity. We commend school personnel who administer the programs and law
enforcement officials who contribute to the success of programs in their communities.
For more than 75 years, AAA clubs have proudly sponsored, promoted and aided AAA
School Safety Patrol programs as a community service in the interest of safety for all
schoolchildren. AAA clubs have been the leading non-school civic agencies active in patrol
work in most communities. During its long and distinguished history, the AAA School
Safety Patrol program has provided a safer pedestrian environment and a wide spectrum
of educational opportunities for millions of children. AAA has provided the means for the
patrol to succeed.
This manual will serve as a resource to community organizations, school administrators
and supervisors who are coordinating AAA School Safety Patrol programs. The policies
and practices presented in this manual are the result of the combined efforts of several
national educational, law enforcement and safety organizations. It represents the
cumulative experience of AAA School Safety Patrol operations in every corner of the
United States.
Consistent, uniform operating procedures across the country are essential for the motorist
and pedestrian to know what to expect. For this reason, uniform AAA School Safety Patrol
identification and operating procedures are highly recommended.
Robert L. Darbelnet,
AAA President and CEO

Role of the School Safety Patrol
AAA School Safety Patrols are school-sponsored student volunteers from upper elementary,
middle, and junior high schools.
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:
• Complete training in traffic safety
• Protect students from the hazards of crossing roads and highways on their
way to and from school
• Assist bus drivers in safely transporting students to and from school
• Teach fellow students about traffic safety.
• Serve other leadership functions under the direction of school officials
Typically, teachers and principals appoint Patrol members, who participate with parental
approval. A teacher usually serves as patrol supervisor.

As members of AAA School Safety Patrols, students have protected their classmates
since 1916.
In the 1930s, three national organizations: the American Automobile Association, the
National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and the National Safety Council —
collaborated on Standard Rules for the Operation of School Boy Patrols. These guidelines
have been updated over the years to become the operating standards for AAA School
Safety Patrols.
Today, more than 50,000 schools sponsor patrols, protecting pedestrians and school bus
riders in all 50 states.
School safety patrol members have grown up to be U.S. presidents, governors, members
of Congress, Supreme Court justices, astronauts, and Olympic medalists, as well as
educators, executives, and community leaders throughout the country.
As the value of the program has gained recognition, two national awards have been
introduced. Lifesaving Awards debuted in 1945. The Patroller of the Year award was first
bestowed in 2002. For more information, please refer to pages 30-31.

AAA School Safety Patrols benefit students, schools, and communities.
Students gain:
• Safety awareness
• Leadership
• Teamwork
• Pride
• Citizenship
• Respect for law enforcement
Schools benefit from opportunities to promote:
• Traffic safety awareness
• Peer-to-peer education
• Character-building opportunities
• A constructive outlet for students’ energy
• A positive relationship with parents, law enforcement, and the
overall community
Communities benefit from:
• Safer environments for pedestrians and motorists
• A spirit of volunteerism and civic-mindedness
• A positive collaboration between students, parents, schools, and
law enforcement

The most effective patrol programs come from a strong partnership between AAA,
schools, Parent Teacher Associations, law enforcement, and the community.
The role of AAA:
• Sponsorship
• Traffic Safety Education and awareness presentations
• Public outreach and recognition
• Source for resources, such as equipment
• Source of patrol guidelines
The role of the school:
• Supervisors are responsible for implementation of school safety patrols in
elementary schools within their school system.
• Principals appoint teachers to serve as patrol supervisors
• Area patrol supervisors meet to exchange best practices
The role of the Parent Teacher Association (where applicable):
• Support of the school’s patrol program, including recognition programs
• Sponsors equipment and training
• Liaison between the school and the community
The role of law enforcement:
• Advisor to the program
• Advocate on behalf of the patrol to motorists and the community
• Contribute to training and development of patrols
The role of the community:
• Civic organizations may provide recognition and community awareness
• These organizations could include
– Police auxiliary
– Women’s clubs
– School booster clubs
– American Legion posts
– Other safety or civic groups
Forming Your Patrol

Safety of Patrols
The safety of Patrols should be achieved through training on traffic safety, operation, and the
responsibilities of each post; dedicated adult supervision; and regular inspections help protect
safety patrols.
To remain safe on duty, patrol members must remain at their assigned posts and always
properly display their belts and badges.
Patrollers are trained to seek adult help in the following examples of specific traffic situations:
• Parked cars blocking the view of an intersection
• Parked cars blocking school bus stop or student loading or unloading zone
• Failure of motorists to obey traffic control device
• Suspicious activity by adult or older students
• Vehicles turning at T-intersections
• Wrong-way traffic on one-way streets
• Emergencies and injuries
• Electrical wires down near the patrol post
• Domestic or wild animal threats
• Student fights
• Emergency vehicle response near the post.
• Any situation beyond the realm of the daily operation of duties at a
patrol post
Forming Your Patrol

Concerns (continued)
“Stranger Danger”
Patrol members are trained to report problems with strangers to the patrol supervisor,
teachers, parents, and/or law enforcement. These “Stranger Danger” precautions are part
of patrol training:
Patrol members should be trained to never:
• Approach cars or allow other students to approach unknown motorists
• Accept candy or presents from strangers
• Help strangers with directions or search for a lost pet
• Allow their photos to be taken
• Divulge their name, address, phone number, or other family information
Patrol members are trained to seek immediate help if:
• They encounter someone who appears to be under the influence of drugs
or alcohol
• They become suspicious of the behavior of older students or adults
• They are followed
Patrol members learn that if they are grabbed by a stranger, they should make as much
noise as possible.
Forming Your Patrol

Securing Official School Authorization
Before school principals institute the AAA School Safety Patrol program, they must obtain
approval from the school superintendent or school board.
The approval process will vary according to community and school system requirements. In
some cases, principals may seek support for the program from community organizations.
Although most superintendents are familiar with patrols in general, they may not
understand the details of operation.
To gain support in the community and in the school system, a principal introducing a patrol
should be prepared to:
• Identify community needs
• Present the patrol’s objectives
• Explain operational requirements
• Outline available resources that will support the program
Limiting Liability
• Create a statement of purpose that outlines the objectives of a school safety patrol program
• Grant authority to principals or supervisors of safety education or transportation to
maintain safety patrols and establish rules and regulations for their supervision
• Limit the age group from which patrols may be selected and determine any exclusions
from participation, such as health concerns
• Extend the same protection to the school safety patrol, supervisors, and those involved
in the program that applies to other student volunteer programs
• Provide guidelines to ensure consistency between patrol programs so students benefit
equally from participation
• Each school should develop a policy regarding times when school safety patrollers
should not be on post due to inclement weather
Forming Your Patrol

Selecting the Patrol Supervisor
The School Safety Patrol Supervisor is a responsible adult, typically a teacher, appointed
by the school principal to oversee the patrol. More than any other individual, the School
Safety Patrol Supervisor determines the success of the program.
The ideal supervisor demonstrates:
• A strong belief in the value of the program
• Knowledge of traffic safety
• Leadership
• Organizational skills
• People skills, including the ability to share praise and constructive criticism
• Ability to inspire confidence and respect
• Dependability
• Ability to establish rapport with students, school leaders, the community,
and law enforcement
Supervisor duties include:
• Serving as the source of information on all aspects of the program
• Selecting patrol members and assigning duties
• Training all patrol members, including officers
• Supervising all patrol operations
• Conducting training sessions, reviews, and administrative meetings
• Advising all adult sponsoring committees on the patrol’s activities
Organization, Training and Operation
Determining Patrol Size
Schools should work with the traffic engineering agency in their area to make the proper
determinations regarding the number of patrols that should be assigned at various
intersections. A traffic specialist can provide traffic data, conduct traffic studies, evaluate
information about the school and help to implement safety procedures for students
walking to and from school. The analysis can be used to plan school safety patrol posts
where they can operate satsifactorily, keeping in mind the age and developmental nature
of Patrol membership. Busy crossings require more than one Patrol member. Occasionally
it will be found best NOT to use the same crossing place to-school pupil traffic as is used
for from-school traffic, because of changes in traffic volumes and direction at different
times of day.

Selecting Patrol Members
AAA encourages the formation of a patrol force that is just large enough to fulfill the needs
of the school. Coordination is much easier with a smaller group. After determining the
optimum size of the patrol a school needs, choose members based on demonstrated:
• Leadership
• Maturity
• Reliability
• Ability to follow rules
• Punctuality
• Health (or ability to perform duties)
• Interest in traffic safety
• Sound judgment
• Good attendance record
• Courtesy
• Respect for classmates and others
• Desire to help others
Select reserve patrol members to ensure trained patrol members are available at all times.
Organization, Training and Operation

Selection of Intersections
In selecting intersections for posts, gather recommendations from:
• School personnel
• Law enforcement
• Bus drivers
• Area businesses
• PTA officials
Review coverage annually. New roads or subdivisions and changes in bus or walking
patterns may change patrol needs.
Assign patrol posts based on:
• Intersections near the school
• The side of the street from which students approach
• Traffic direction and density
• Nearness of the post to patrol member’s home
Parental Permission
Students must have permission from parents or guardians to participate in the patrol program.
When they understand the educational value, service, and character-building aspects of
the program, most parents are proud to give their permission for participation.
AAA can provide a special consent form which explains the aims, objectives, and
operation of the AAA School Safety Patrol. This standard form also contains the
membership application and pledge taken by patrol members.
Organization, Training and Operation

Thorough training is an absolute requirement. Training may take place in school or special
summer camps.
Trainers can be the Patrol Supervisor, a AAA representative, or a law enforcement officer.
When possible, train new patrol members for the upcoming year before the end of the
prior year. Schedule refresher training for both new and veteran members should be
provided before the school year begins.
Information to cover in your training:
• Fundamentals of traffic safety
• Duties of each patrol post
• Identifying sufficient gaps in traffic to allow safe crossing
• Special hazards
• Dealing with pedestrians
• School bus safety procedures
• Safety procedures on school grounds
• Maintaining records (for officers)
School training may be conducted as:
• Classes
• On-the-job personal direction
• Written guidelines and oral or written quizzes
• Joint clinics held in cooperation with other schools and involving new and
veteran members
• Viewing of training videos from the local AAA club or AAA Foundation for
Traffic Safety followed by discussion
• Diagramming a duty corner and highlighting hazards and a patrol plan for
the specific crossing
• School bus drills
Training methods can be used individually or in combination.
Because officers take on more responsibility and have more complex duties, most schools
provide additional training for incoming officers.
Some communities schedule a Patrol Member Training Camp over summer vacation. This
camp may be open to all patrol members or officers.
Organization, Training and Operation

Training (continued)
Camps are ideally scheduled just before school reopens so the training is fresh in the
minds of patrol members on the first day of school.
Camps combine traffic safety education with fun activities. Classes may be taught by law
enforcement, safety experts, and representatives from your local AAA club. Veteran patrol
members also may lead discussion sessions or conduct role-playing exercises.
Most camps end with an exam and “graduation” ceremony in which successful trainees
receive certificates, pins, and a training camp T-shirt.
Civic organizations and PTAs may cover fees for training camps.
Organization, Training and Operation

A formal installation ceremony instills pride and reinforces the importance of your patrol’s
service to the school and community.
Many schools make the installation part of a school assembly or PTA meeting. Some
schools broadcast their installation ceremony on educational or public Television. Your
school district’s information officer may help you promote your ceremony.
Consider inviting the mayor, city official, school officer, a representative from law enforcement
or AAA. Your visiting dignitary may be invited to lead the pledge and present badges.
Reciting the AAA School Safety Patrol Pledge (see appendix), or creating your own
school-specific pledge, is an easy but powerful way to create a spirit of shared
responsibility and teamwork.
AAA can provide a safety patrol ID card (see appendix) that includes the standard pledge.
These cards can be presented at installation, along with badges, belts and other equipment.
Organization, Training and Operation

Officer Selection
The Patrol Supervisor selects officers. The supervisor may do this individually or by
supervising an election by patrol members. Officers generally serve for one semester.
Typically, a patrol has a captain, lieutenant, and a sergeant. The size of the patrol unit
determines the number of officers needed. Patrol officers take on additional responsibility
and help lead activities. Officers also must be trained to substitute for any post. One of the
lieutenants becomes acting captain when the captain is not available for duty.
Encourage officers to rely upon respect and cooperation, rather than authority. Specific
officer duties are outlined later in the manual.
Officer Duties
Captains are responsible for:
• Preparing reports for the Patrol Supervisor
• Proposing the agenda for patrol meetings
• Assigning posts
• Monitoring patrol performance
• Presenting safety talks to younger classes
• Enforcing all patrol rules
• Ensuring patrol members maintain and wear belts and badges
• Arranging for substitutes as needed
• Maintaining the Captain’s Record Book
Lieutenants are responsible for:
• Acting for the captain, as assigned
• Assisting the captain in checking posts and buses
• Contributing to operational reports
• Filling in for absent patrol members
The Sergeant is responsible for:
• Acting as unit secretary
• Maintaining the patrol bulletin board
• Inventorying equipment and recommending repairs, replacements,
and acquisitions
Organization, Training and Operation

Length of Service
AAA recommends that schools appoint a set number of patrols to serve all year with a
selection of alternates to fill in when regular members are absent. Assign only the
necessary number of patrols to a single post.
Being a school safety patrol should be considered “special”. Do not make everyone in the
class a patrol. This dilutes the special feeling of being selected a patrol and seriously
limits resources.
Organization, Training and Operation

The two identifying pieces of equipment for safety patrol members are:
• Official patrol belts
• Badges pinned to the shoulder strap of the belt at chest level
Schools also may provide additional equipment, such as ponchos, caps, and flags.
Assigned equipment should be documented. Officers must maintain a roster with each
patrol member’s name and a notation of equipment provided to them.
Please contact your local AAA club for specific ordering information.
Equipment: Care
Each patrol member must wear a belt and badge when on duty. Assign a sergeant to see
that patrol members are accountable for the care of equipment assigned to them. It is the
sergeant’s responsibility to keep a daily record of the condition of this school property.
Equipment includes:
• Belts • Flags • Ponchos
• Badges • Caps
The sergeant responsible for equipment works with the captain and patrol sponsor to
order replacement equipment. Equipment which is lost or misplaced must be replaced.
Worn out equipment should be destroyed.
Encourage students to refer to the Patrol Member Handbook for proper wear and care of
Patrol equipment.
Organization, Training and Operation
Note: AAA has studied roadside visibility issues and is researching ways to
improve existing equipment to increase the visibility of AAA School
Safety Patrols to approaching motorists.

Daily Operations
Schools should distribute the list of patrollers to staff and train patrol members to leave
their classes quietly and report to an assigned patrol assembly point.
The patrol captain or lieutenant:
• Takes attendance
• Ensures that all members are wearing their belts and badges
• Verifies that all posts are covered.
• Reminds patrol members to walk quietly and carefully to their posts
Mechanics of the Street Patrol
“Mechanics” are defined as the process, moves, and maneuvers of a patroller on duty.
The basic mechanics are:
• Arrive at your post early
• Determine how to judge a safe gap for your posted position
• Take a position at least one step back from the curb (or edge of the
street), arms down at a 45 degree angle, palms facing back
• Check all directions for traffic
• Keep students a safe distance from traffic
• Keep arms and palms positioned to hold all students from traffic until there
is a safe gap
• Never allow students to walk in front of a car that stops to allow them to cross
• Step aside and motion students across the street
• Continue to monitor traffic, when the safe gap ends, cut the flow of students
A patrol member should only step into the street far enough to see around an obstruction.
Organization, Training and Operation

Determining the Gap
The first important duty of patrol members is to determine a safe gap in traffic. The patrol
captain or supervisor will assist patrol members in determining when there is a break in
traffic that will allow students to safely cross the street.
To determine a safe gap, patrol members judge:
• Speed of vehicles
• Traffic volume
• Road and weather conditions
• Number of lanes of traffic
• Time required for small children to cross the street
To establish a safe gap:
• Walk across the street at normal speed when there is no traffic
• Count the seconds to cross safely and add five seconds to allow for
students who start across later than the lead student
• Pick a fixed point – such as a mailbox or signpost – about 1000 feet from
the student crossing point
• When a vehicle passes this point, count the seconds until the vehicle
reaches the crossing
Patrol members must pay attention to parked cars that may enter traffic, and vehicles that
may come from driveways or alleys.
To determine gaps at intersections with signals:
• On average, it takes 10 seconds for a child to cross
• If the signal remains green for 30 seconds, count 20 seconds, then stop
students from crossing until the next green light
Record Keeping
AAA provides two resources that help captains standardize recordkeeping: the Captain’s
Record Book and the Monthly Patrol Record Form.
The Captain maintains the Captain’s Record Book. Patrol records should cover:
• Daily attendance
• Number of times a patrol member is late
• Number of times a patrol member fails to wear proper equipment
Organization, Training and Operation

Schedule meetings twice a month. At least once a month, the school safety officer should
attend. It also may be appropriate to invite the principal, police, adult crossing guards and
bus drivers.
When conducting a meeting, follow parliamentary procedure, which is a set of widely
accepted rules that give meetings structure and order. Procedure books such as the
popular, Robert’s Rules of Ordercan be found in local public libraries.
The Patrol Captain presides at all meetings. The Lieutenant presides in the Captain’s
Patrol members wear belts and badges to meetings.
Patrol officers should plan an agenda focused on both old and new patrol business.
Below is a sample agenda, incorporating parliamentary procedure:
• Call to order
• Pledge of Allegiance
• Roll call and inspection
• Secretary reads minutes of previous meeting
• Captain corrects or approves minutes
• Old business from previous meeting completed
• New business discussed
• Contributions from guests
• Training
• Captain requests motion to adjourn
• Captain asks for motion to be seconded
• Captain states the motion and asks for “ayes” and “nays”
• Captain officially adjourns the meeting (and may announce time and date
of next meeting)
Organization, Training and Operation

The secretary records meetings in a consistent format. A completed set of minutes is
signed by the secretary and becomes part of the official record of the patrol.
Elements which must be in the minutes:
• School name
• Date and time of meeting
• Attendance
• Results of inspection
• Summary of old business
• Summary of new business
• Additional comments/contributions from guests
(such as police officers, principals)
• Additional information (for example, training or recognition)
• Time meeting was dismissed
The secretary signs meeting minutes before turning them in to the captain.
Overall responsibility for the patrol rests with the Patrol Supervisor.
On a daily basis, the Captain assigns posts, enforces rules, arranges for substitutes, and
maintains discipline.
The Captain is assisted by Lieutenants and a Sergeant.
Organization, Training and Operation

Role of Patrol at Signalized Intersections
Only police officers or adult crossing guards can stop vehicles.Patrol members
have specific duties based on their posts.
Duties of patrol members:
• Stand on the sidewalk, at least one step back from the curb and midway
between crosswalk lines
• Watch traffic flow and children approaching
• At red lights, signal students not to enter the intersection by holding arms
down at 45-degree angle to the body
• At green lights, determine all approaching traffic has stopped before
allowing students to cross
• Check traffic in all directions for a suitable gap and then permit children
to cross
• Before the light changes back to red, return to the outstretched arms
position to prevent children from being caught in the middle of
the intersection
Bus Loading and Unloading
Bus stop patrol is an important duty. Students often arrive at bus stops early and may not
pay attention to traffic while waiting.
School officials should encourage students to arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before the bus
is scheduled to arrive. The school also should designate a waiting area away from the road.
The bus stop patrol:
• Keeps students out of the street and away from traffic
• Lines students up for boarding when the bus arrives
• Assists small students in boarding the bus
• Checks the bus stop to ensure no belongings are left behind
• If a school bus must be evacuated, safety patrols may assist bus drivers.
If a bus driver is incapacitated, the patrol may direct the evacuation.
On Patrol

On the Bus
Assign one to three patrol members to a bus. They remain seated when the bus is moving.
Front patrol members sit in the right front seat of the bus and:
• Disembark at all regular stops to assist students entering and leaving the bus
• Assist the driver in keeping objects out of the aisles
• Remind students to keep heads and arms inside the bus
• Reaffirm the track is clear at railroad crossings
Middle patrol members sit in the middle of the bus and:
• Monitor student noise and behavior
• Keep students seated and aisles clear
• Remind students to keep arms and heads inside the bus
• Assist loading and unloading
Rear patrol members sit near the back emergency door and:
• Check the bus for articles left behind by students
• Operate the rear emergency door in case of emergency
Some schools place patrols at pick-up and drop-off spots in front of the school to
protect carpoolers.
Patrol members assigned to these positions:
• Help students enter and exit vehicles safely
• Assist small children and students whose arms are full
• Monitor students and keep them on the sidewalk until traffic has stopped
• Direct students to proceed in an orderly fashion from the parking lot to
the school
On Patrol
Note: Bus Patrol members are typically students from the first bus stops
in the morning and the last bus stops in the evening that provide
assistance to the bus driver for the entire route.

Reporting Dangerous Practices
Part of the pledge school patrollers take is a promise to “report dangerous student
practices.” Just what are those practices? A dangerous practice endangers students.
When a patrol member observes a dangerous practice they should:
• Politely explain the risk to the offender (if it is another student)
• Seek an adult if the behavior continues
• Only touch another student in an emergency
• Report dangerous situations to a patrol officer or Patrol Supervisor for
If another patrol member is involved in a dangerous practice, this should be reported to
the Patrol Supervisor. Individual school system guidelines should be in place to handle
such disciplinary actions, including probation, suspension and dismissal.
Role of Police
In many communities, law enforcement officers work directly with patrols. They serve as
safety patrol coordinators who contribute to operations, training, and development.
Law enforcement can make an important contribution to the success of your patrol
program, including:
• Promoting motorist awareness of patrols
• Promoting community respect for patrols
• Contributing to patrol training
Only police officers and adult crossing guards can stop vehicles.
On Patrol

Role of Adult Crossing Guards
Adult crossing guards may be assigned to high-traffic areas. They can help create safe
gaps in traffic, control turning traffic, and assist large groups of children crossing busy
intersections. They are typically community employees supervised by law enforcement.
Adult crossing guards are typically assigned to:
• High-traffic streets with safe gaps more than a minute apart
• Signalized intersections where turning automobiles are a hazard
• Crossings near schools with a high volume of walking students
• Locations where 85 percent of the traffic speed exceeds the speed limit
• Areas of reduced visibility
• School districts with inadequate school route plans
• Locations beyond the capability of student patrols
Patrols can be deployed to assist an Adult Crossing Guard. This is particularly useful at
wide crossings or locations with heavy pedestrian volumes. The adult crossing guard and
the police will establish procedures consistent with guidelines for patrol deployment
described in this manual.
On Patrol

School Support
The more importance and visibility the school gives to the AAA School Safety Patrol, the
more the potential benefit. The program deserves recognition as:
• A safety measure
• A character-building program
• As a leadership development program
• Citizenship and volunteerism in action
• A real-world “lab” that teaches life skills such as teamwork, responsibility,
problem-solving, and effective communication
• Means to enhance rapport between students and authority figures (school
officers, law enforcement)
• A program that creates positive role models for younger students
• An opportunity for students to learn about traffic safety and the rules of
interfacing with traffic
Schools should encourage teachers to participate, involve the PTA and community groups,
and make the recognition of the contribution made by the AAA School Safety Patrol a priority.
Schools across the country have raised funds for their school safety patrols by:
• Hosting a movie for students and selling popcorn
• Holding a bake sale
• Contacting fundraising companies that provide sale items
• Creating buttons or stickers for a small cost
• Offering a gift-wrapping service at the holidays
• Car washes
• Collecting recyclables
• Setting up a compost heap “fed” by classrooms and the cafeteria each
day. Sell bags of fertilizer in the spring
• Obtaining plants or seedlings from the parks department and selling them
to the community
• Setting up a booth at a town street fair or similar community celebration
and providing face-painting or simple goods or services
• Holding a safety fair and inviting AAA, the Red Cross and other safety
organizations to participate
• Challenging students to a walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon (with helmets!) or
bowl-a-thon and asking sponsors to pledge contributions
Supporting Your Patrol Program

Patrol members must understand there are serious consequences for breaking rules. Most
patrols maintain discipline with a merit/demerit system. Parents should be advised prior to
any disciplinary action.
Merit points are awarded for:
• Work in addition to regular duty
• Conducting safety talks to classes
• Making constructive suggestions
• Additional contributions to teamwork
Demerit points are awarded for:
• Attempting to direct traffic
• Leaving the sidewalk
• Allowing children to cross without ensuring the way is clear
• Leaving their post without permission
• Being tardy or absent without an acceptable reason
• Behavior unbecoming a patroller
• Arriving for duty without badge or belt
• Breaking safety rules
• Disobedience
By accumulating merit points, a patrol member may earn more important assignments.
Accumulating demerits may result in suspension or dismissal from the patrol.
Supporting Your Patrol Program

Morale Building
A key duty of the Patrol Supervisor is to maintain enthusiasm and commitment to the
program. Attention by the school and ownership by students keep morale high.
It is important for schools to recognize the educational value and service of the entire
school patrol.
Many schools recognize this service with certificates of appreciation, merit pins, and
thank-yous to the school patrol in school newsletters and Web sites.
Schools also may ask area businesses for small contributions, such as gift certificates or
coupons for patrol members. Examples of gifts may include inexpensive raincoats or
watches, or catering for a recognition luncheon or dinner.
Activities that may be introduced to build Safety Patrol pride and morale include:
• Reserving a section of the school newsletter or school web site for safety
patrol news
• Assigning a display or bulletin board to the patrol
• Writing personalized notes of appreciation to parents
• Introducing and thanking the patrol at assembly
• Involving the student council in recognition activities
• Creating a safety patrol honor guard
• Hosting an annual patrol luncheon or dinner
• Proclaiming AAA School Safety Patrol Day or Patrol Appreciation Day at a
local attraction
• Promoting a friendly sporting competition between neighboring patrols
• Establishing a special weekly play period for patrol members
• Offering refreshments such as hot chocolate or ice cream to patrol members
• Hosting special events such as pizza parties, movie outings, sporting
events, or end-of-year picnics
Supporting Your Patrol Program

Recognition Programs
AAA makes available award certificates and a pin that can be presented at school
assemblies or celebrations. Contact your local AAA Club for details.
Certificates of Meritare available for students who satisfactorily complete service as a
patrol member.
Service Pinin silver is available for outstanding service while a patrol member.
There are two national awards programs to recognize the efforts of AAA School Safety
Patrollers: The Lifesaving Award Medal and the National Patroller of the Year.
Lifesaving Award Medal
In 1949, AAA held the first Lifesaving Medal Awards to recognize those Safety Patrollers
who while on duty saved a life or prevented the injury of a fellow student. As we approach
2005, over 380 students have been presented with prestigious honor.
The Lifesaving Medal is awarded by an independent review board to a member of any
authorized School Safety Patrol when there is conclusive proof that:
1. The life of the person saved was in imminent danger;
2. The act was performed while the patrol member was on duty, going to or from
a duty post, or while on duty as a bus patrol member;
3. No negligence on the part of the patrol member caused or contributed to the
person rescued being in danger.
The AAA Lifesaving Medal has been presented by U.S. Presidents Ford, Johnson,
Kennedy and Eisenhower; Vice Presidents Mondale, Humphrey, Nixon and Barkley;
First Lady Mamie Eisenhower; justices of the U.S. Supreme Court; cabinet officials; and
other dignitaries.
Supporting Your Patrol Program

Recognition Programs (continued)
National Patroller of the Year
In 2002, AAA introduced the National Patroller of the Year Award to recognize the patroller
that best exemplifies leadership qualities and performs their duties effectively and
responsibly, without incident. The National Patroller of the Year is selected from the field of
Club Patrollers of the Year that our nominated by local AAA clubs.
School Safety Patrol advisers may nominate one current-year patrol member with the
following qualifications. The candidate must:
• Be enrolled in the highest participating grade level of the School Safety Patrol
• Demonstrate leadership qualities, safety skills, school involvement, and
• Value the patrol experience
Contact your local AAA Club for details
Supporting Your Patrol Program

School’s Open Drive Safely
For more than 50 years, AAA has sponsored the School’s Open – Drive Safely campaign.
The goal of this awareness campaign is to reduce the number of traffic crashes involving
school-age pedestrians and school bus riders by reminding drivers to be extra-cautious.
Participating schools may obtain colorful posters for display and other “School’s Open”
items. Contact your local AAA Club for details.
Best Route to School
Safety experts at AAA have developed 10 rules that help parents and children determine the
Best Route to School. Use the following tips to aid AAA School Safety Patrols in the
promotion of safe walking practices to fellow students:
•Walk on sidewalks:Watch out for cars pulling into, and backing out of driveways
•Walk on the left facing traffic if there are no sidewalks:Staying to the left allows you to
watch oncoming traffic and get out of the way if necessary
•Cross only at corners:Avoid the dangerous practice of “jaywalking.” Cross at an
intersection controlled by a traffic light wherever possible
•Stop and look all ways before crossing:If there’s no traffic light, wait until oncoming
cars are at least a block away before crossing
•Watch For Turning Cars:Children sometimes forget to look and unintentionally walk into
the side of a turning vehicle
•Continue to look left, right and left again as you cross:It’s easy to miss an oncoming car
•Never cross between parked cars:It’s almost impossible for drivers to see youngsters
who enter the roadway from between parked cars
•Play away from traffic:Playgrounds, schoolyards and your own backyard are the safest
places to play
•Be especially alert in bad weather:Rain, snow, fog and even umbrellas can obstruct
vision. Also, drivers may be unable to stop quickly. Children should wear brightly
colored and retro-reflective clothing
•Obey police officers, adult crossing guards, AAA Safety Patrol members, and traffic
signals:These “safety guardians” can greatly enhance a child’s safety when going to
and from school
Related Programs and Resources

Resources (continued)
Check with your local AAA club for safety patrol equipment, materials, and awards to
support your AAA School Safety Patrol Program. Available materials may include:
Printed Materials, Guides and Forms
• Handbooks
• Brochures
• Manuals
• Captain’s Record Book
• Policies and Practices
Recognition Awards
• Certificates
• Patches
• Pins
Patrol Equipment
• Belts
• Badges
• Patrol Hats
• Ponchos
• Flags
Related Programs and Resources

Top Tips
• Solicit contributions and expertise from Parent Teacher Associations or Parent Teacher
Organizations, bus drivers, teachers, traffic and safety experts, and law enforcement
• Dedicate a section of the school newsletter or Web site to school safety patrol news
and highlight a patrol member each month
• Encourage communication between patrols by arranging get-togethers, such as shared
training or recognition events
• Reward patrol members with ice cream, hot chocolate, or a meal hosted by Parent
Teacher Associations or Parent Teacher Organizations
• Dedicate an exhibit case or bulletin board to school safety patrol information; including
a map with posts identified. Add a photo of the patrol member assigned to each post
• Write a thank-you note to the members of your school safety patrol and their parents
Related Programs and Resources

Quick Reference Checklist
❏Contact your local AAA Club
❏Develop partnerships with the School, AAA, PTA, Law
enforcement, and the community
❏Secure official school authorization
❏Establish policies and procedures
❏Select Patrol Supervisor
❏Select Patrol Members and obtain parental permission
❏Select posts and intersections for duty
❏Train Patrol Members on equipment care, procedures
and standards
❏Select officers
❏Assign duties and posts
❏School announcements
❏Installation of Patrol
How to begin a AAA School Safety Patrol
Traffic Safety Programs