School Crossing Guard Safety

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Within the public safety field, adult school crossing guards are among the least acknowledged and recognized of all. They are constantly battling harsh weather conditions and the all-too-common road rage from daily commuters while tending for our children’s safety. Unfortunately, these school zone guardians are at constant risk from the many inherent hazards of their job. Among those are the harsh weather conditions they encounter without shelter, the oncoming traffic they signal to stop, and the ever-increasing violence of daily commuters.
The Job
An adult school crossing guard’s primary responsibility is to ensure children cross the street safely when walking or biking to and from school (University of North, n.d.). Crossing guards also prevent erratic behavior by children and other pedestrians while near potentially dangerous vehicle traffic. They use existing gaps in traffic to safely guide pedestrians across the street, they alert motorists of crossing pedestrians, and they ultimately report any incidents and mishaps to the authorities.
In reality, each child is overall responsible for his own safety; nevertheless, the crossing guard are placed there as a risk reduction tactic to avoid any children casualties (University of North, n.d.). He patiently waits for pedestrians to approach the road crossing or intersection and politely educates them on road crossing safety while waiting for the right moment to stop traffic.
In due time, the crossing guard signals oncoming traffic to stop using hand signals or signaling devices (University of North, n.d.). While the traffic stops, the guard walks to the middle of the road/intersection, signals pedestrians when it is safe to cross, and remains there until all pedestr...

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...ool crossing guard on duty, children would be at an extremely high risk of being struck by oncoming vehicles.
Keeping in mind that school-zone crossing guards are safety measures of their own, many strategies can be used to make this profession safer. Even though, stopping traffic for pedestrians to cross during rush hour is a risky business: the benefit of having a crossing guard safely guide our children to safety heavily outweighs the risks. With that being said, implementing the previously identified risk reduction tactics can ensure crossing guards operational risk level is tolerable limits.

Works Cited

Jensen, R. C. (2012). Risk-reduction methods for occupational safety and health. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. (n.d.). Adult School Crossing Guard Guidelines. Chapel Hill, NC: Author.

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