Crossing Guard Frequently Asked Questions

Who pays for the Crossing Guard program?

The City of Wauwatosa has been dedicated to ensuring the safety of children to and from school. Currently, the City of Wauwatosa contracts with a private contractor that is responsible for the hiring, training, supervising, compensating and equipping of 35 crossing guard locations, or 36 crossing guards.

What company is contracted to run the crossing guard program?

Twin City Security,  8401 W. Cleveland Av; Jerry Mojeck, owner; phone 414-328-0208

Who do I contact if I have feedback about a crossing guard location?

Crossing Guard Ambassador programs are being established through the PTA/PTO Safe Routes to School Committee at the elementary schools.  If your school does not have a committee, talk to your PTA president or principal about setting one up.  They are a valuable link between the crossing guards and parents and students.

Additional contact: Anthony Brown, Assistant to City Administrator, City of Wauwatosa.

What equipment are the crossing guards provided with?

One summer hat with a guard patch, one winter hat with guard patch, one yellow raincoat, one vest blaze orange with fluorescent stripes and guard patch to be worn at all times, one hand-held stop sign to be used at all times and one identification flag for vehicle to be used at all times.

What are the duty times for the crossing guards?

View times here >

 

What are the minimum standards for hiring a crossing guard?

MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR CROSSING GUARDS

  1. High school diploma/ G.E.D. is desirable
  2. Basic life support training is desirable
  3. Must have a valid driver’s license
  4. Must be able to read, write and speak English
  5. Must be a minimum of 18 years old
  6. Not have any felony convictions. Misdemeanor and municipal convictions shall be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  7. Have the ability to communicate clearly and concisely with motorists and pedestrians.
  8. Must be able to demonstrate the following abilities and characteristics:
    • Good physical condition, including sight, depth perception and hearing
    • Ability to stand for a long period of time
    • Good mental alertness
    • Neat appearance
    • Good character
    • Dependable
    • Sense of responsibility for the safety of children
    • Good verbal communication skills
    • Familiarity with traffic rules and regulations
    • Willing to work in foul weather and on heavily congested roads
    • Be able to cross pedestrians in a timely manner
What are the proper crossing procedures?

In every situation, a guard uses the proper search pattern for crossing a street and encourages student pedestrians to follow these safety steps. This pattern is:

  • Stop at the curb or edge of the street.
  • Look left, right, then left again for traffic.
  • Look over the shoulder for possible turning vehicles if the pedestrian is standing at an intersection.
  • 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 primary hand-signaling device. However, many jurisdictions around the country allow guards to use clearly delivered hand signals, alone or in conjunction with the STOP paddle, to alert traffic to activity at school crossings.

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 unsignalized 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 bicycle or scooter or carry the skateboard across the street as a pedestrian.

A guard enters the street in the following sequence:

  • Wait for a gap in traffic on the guard’s side of the street.
  • Face the closest oncoming traffic and make eye contact with the approaching drivers.
  • Walk to the center of street with the STOP paddle held high. If not using a STOP paddle, walk to the center of the street with an arm raised toward traffic and parallel to the ground with the palm and fingers extended upward.
  • Where there are more than two lanes, enter the street and alert the traffic one lane at a time.
  • Face opposite approaching traffic and make eye contact with those drivers.
  • Stand on the crosswalk line close to the center of the street and make sure that all traffic has stopped, including any turning vehicles.
  • Face the intersection.
  • 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.
  • Do not allow any cars to cross the crosswalk until all the students have crossed.
  • Remain in the center of the street until the last child reaches the opposite side of the street.
  • 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.
  • Remain near the curb or edge of the street for the next group of children to assemble.

A variety of traffic and pedestrian signals are found at signalized crosswalks including traffic signals with standard pedestrian signal heads and, in some locations, traffic 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 carry the skateboard across the street as a pedestrian.

Enter the street in this sequence:

  • 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.
  • Face oncoming traffic and make eye contact with drivers who are attempting to turn.
  • Verbally instruct the students to begin their search (left, right, left and over their shoulders, for turning traffic) and cross when safe.
  • Tell the students to continue walking if the signal changes to flashing “DON’T WALK”, but do not allow children to start crossing at this time. Help students learn that a flashing “DON’T WALK” signal means Don’t Start.
  • Wait for children to reach the opposite side of the street.
  • 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.
  • For signalized or unsignalized crossings with four or more lanes, experts recommend using two adult school crossing guards working in unison, with one guard positioned on each side of the street. Each guard stands on the crosswalk line closest to the approaching traffic 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 intersection of two major arterial streets where children must cross two or more legs of the intersection.