Safety is an important issue for everyone, but an often overlooked occupation where workers put their lives on the line every day - well, one every school day - is the often un-noticed, and under-appreciated, school crossing guard.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) defines a crossing guard as someone who directs traffic (both pedestrian and vehicular) on streets, at schools, and at railroad crossings and construction sites. In 2007, there were an estimated 70,000 school crossing guards employed nationally, and in the years between 1993 to 2006, there were 97 school crossing guard fatalities, or almost 7 a year. This may not seem like a lot of deaths, but these men and women put their lives on the line each day to keep our children safe.
Additionally, the state of Florida reports that in 2006, 39% of all 16 and under pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 and 7 pm. Of the 516 fatalities, 104, or (20%) were pedestrians - usually children. In an effort to lower these numbers, the state trains crossing guards to:
• Use proper crossing techniques consistently
• Encourage patterns of proper crossing behavior by students
• Deter students from committing unsafe/unlawful acts
• Recognize and report hazardous conditions
• Take proper actions in an emergency
• Know their responsibilities and limitations of authority
• Exhibit professionalism and instill confidence
• Earn students’ respect
In a New Jersey report, other factors attributing to motor-vehicle related injuries include among school crossing guards include:
• Unsafe driving
• Parents rushing to and through the school zone
• Distracted driving including cell phones, eating, drinking and smoking
As parents, let's respect school crossing guards, the men and women who serve our children every day and make sure they get to cross the street safely. As drivers, let's start paying attention to school zones, and wait to send that text message, or wait to eat the fast food when we get home.
At HiVis Supply, we are proud to resell high visibility apparel including incident command vests, safety vests, and traffic vests, as well as traffic safety accessories and ANSI compliant vests for crossing guards, pedestrian crossing and speed limit signs.