Crossing Guard & Student Safety Patrols
School safety patrols are trained student volunteers responsible for enforcing drop-off and pick-up procedures for students using any form of transportation to get to school. Student safety patrols may assist students as they cross the street but they do not stop vehicular traffic; instead they look for breaks in traffic and direct students to cross.
According to the National Safe Routes Clearinghouse, “student safety patrols… [increase] safety for students and traffic flow efficiency for parents. Having a student safety patrol program at a school requires approval by the school and a committed teacher or parent volunteer to coordinate the student trainings and patrols.”
By contrast, crossing guards are trained adults, either paid or volunteer, who are legally empowered to stop traffic to assist students with crossing the street. Palo Alto has published Crossing Guard Responsibilities to clarify the role and responsibilities of crossing guards. Marin County Safe Routes to School regularly develops a Crossing Guard Assessment Report to evaluate the placement and effectiveness of crossing guards.