Crossing Guards Play a Critical Role for the Safety of our Kids: Drivers Please Be Aware!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 10:15am
Tami L. Johnson

Every morning, like clockwork, in North Ogden you’ll see crossing guards doing their duty to help kids stay safe on their way to school.  As an important representative of the community, these crossing guards are tasked with helping create a safe environment for our children and it is up to you, as the drivers, to ensure that safety as well.

In Utah, crossing guards are employed by local law enforcement agencies and are therefore responsible for following high standards of conduct.

Officer Jason Child, with the North Ogden Police Department, oversees the 6 crossing guard locations and those who manage them. All crossing guards are equipped with:

*high visibility clothing, including a retroreflective vest

*A STOP paddle

*Two cones

According to Officer Child, “The public can pay more attention to the crossings.  Most people are traveling the same time during the day and should know the crossings in their areas.” 

He also adds, “Citizens need to know the laws at school crossings such that until the crossing guard is off the road no cars can enter the crossing.”

Child says, “The biggest problem in North Ogden will always be people not paying attention because of devices or other distractions.  People are in a hurry. We know this is very dangerous for the crossing guards and several have almost been hit by a car.”

“When approaching a school crossing with the light on,” Child tells us, “Be prepared to stop and also be prepared for little kids to run into the roadway.  Any time we go past a school or park, when we see kids near the road, we need to be ready for them to run into the street.”

Elke Campbell has been a crossing guard for 20+ years and she says, “I really enjoy the kids and I miss them!  Last year I was going to retire but after subbing 3 times a week I decided to come back here (to my spot) every day rather than drive all over North Ogden.”   

From the UDOT Crossing Guard Quick Reference Handbook we are told to: “Please be particularly careful and alert during inclement weather.  Poor quality weather conditions tend to make people hurry and pay less attention.  In addition, visibility is reduced and stopping distances are increased as roads become slippery.”

As a crossing guard in front of Bates Elementary for 11 years now, Sara Urry, started out as a full-time Mom at home with her children.  She felt this was a way to earn a little extra money while being able to take her kids with her while she worked in the morning and afternoon. She says, “It’s been fun to work with the kids that go to the school and their parents. I have loved watching my “other” kids grow up and change.”

When asked what is rewarding about her job as a crossing guard, Urry tells us, “The kids! My relationship with them and how excited they get on that first day of school when they see me again. It’s fun to greet them and give them encouragement to have a good day.”

As an experienced crossing guard, Urry would like to urge the public to:

BE AWARE of:

*The flashing lights in school zones and the crosswalks

*Be courteous

*Be patient

*Be Kind

*Be respectful of traffic laws

Urry would also like to add, “Crossing guards are a needed service to the community, and these people are willing to provide that.  It really is all about the kids and it is so worth it.”

Officer Child would like to say, “Crossing guards are important because they make sure our children are safe. I see how they all get to know their kids and how much they care for the kids they cross. We are very lucky to have such great crossing guards who truly love our kids.

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