A cross guard manages traffic while stationed on busy roadways to safely help pedestrians cross the road. This job is often associated at schools where children that do not have experience determining when it is safe to cross a road will be. They also work in busy cities helping pedestrians at heavily traffic walkways and may even work at big events so people can cross busy roads safely. They do not write tickets, cite, detain people, or direct traffic. If you enjoy working outdoors with the public, this may be your job!
How to Become a Crossing Guard
A high school diploma or the equivalent is typically the only education required for this job. Most crossing guards train on-the-job with an experienced employee. The training includes:
- An eight-step procedure for the job
- Knowledge of relevant equipment like the paddle
- Security and safety practices such as policies and strategies
- Emergency comprehension in case of any accidents
A crossing guard needs to have social perceptiveness, oral comprehension skills, and must pay attention without distractions and quickly recognize potential problems. A guard is dependable, reliable, and responsible. They have integrity, honesty, and are ethical. It is essential they keep their emotions under control and adopt non-aggressive behavior. A crossing guard can work without supervision and make decisions as they arise. They also know the safety laws for crossing streets. For example, it is a State law that vehicles must stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk and remain stopped until the people have reached the other side. Crossing guards are also called crosswalk attendants, school road patrol, road crossing guards, and community service officers. Further information can be found on the American Traffic Safety Services Association’s website.
Cross Guard Job Description
A crossing guard’s purpose is to keep pedestrians safe when they cross the road. They monitor traffic flow to find gaps to help people safely cross the street, which is a vital part of the job. They foster safe driver and pedestrian deportment at crosswalks near schools and teach children safety when crossing the road. The guard checks for any hazards that threaten the safety of people when traveling across roadways, such as potholes, icy conditions, nonfunctioning traffic lights, and pedestrian crossings lights, and is aware of speeding cars or suspicious behavior. Like a cone or sign, the guard should place a marker to alert people when danger is present.
A crossing guard works outdoors in all weather conditions and must hold up their arms and stand on their feet for long hours. These guards must also follow the eight steps to aid children across the street.
- Assemble children making sure they dismount bikes and skateboards and then the guard steps from the edge of the curb
- Find a safe gap in traffic and make sure the children do not cross behind the guard
- Enter the crosswalk before the children
- Stop the far side of traffic and place paddle at shoulder height
- Decide the best position to stand
- Make sure cars stop, face children, and make eye contact, and then the children can begin crossing
- Stay in position making sure all cars remain stopped
- Remain alert and return to the curb continuing to hold paddle high.