The School Crossing Guards are there every morning to help everyone get to school safely and efficiently. During their shifts they have observed several situations that are potentially dangerous for the kids, and for some adults as well. They know in some of the instances described below, convenience outweighs rules and regulations but also sets a bad example for your children and other children who observe the violations. Here are just a few examples with suggestions on how to LEAD BY EXAMPLE.:
- DO NOT JAYWALK. It is amazing to me how many times during either a morning or afternoon session that more than one parent will jaywalk right in front of the school because it is convenient, although the corner crosswalk may be just a few additional steps away. Please do not jaywalk–it is potentially dangerous. We want to set a good example for the children.
- When dropping a child or children off while pausing or parking on the street, please have the children exit your vehicle on the off-street side of the car. Do not allow the children to exit your vehicle into the street.
- Please do not park or stop your car within 20 feet of any intersection. Besides being against the law, it is a true traffic hazard for the kids crossing and for traffic trying to negotiate the intersection.
- Even though it is now against the law to use a cell phone while driving a car anytime in Austin, and has been against the law to do the same in a school zone for some time, some parents continue to do so. If the call is some important that it needs to be taken, please pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot and take the call. It might just save you a lot of money.
- Please don’t cross the intersection until I have given the nod to do so. Sometimes I need to have my head on a swivel to keep up with parents and kids coming from all directions. I try to keep traffic moving whenever possible so as not to get too big of a backup with the traffic, and I may be looking in one direction while parents and/or kids are crossing outside of my peripheral vision. Please make sure that I have given you the go-ahead before entering the intersection.
- It probably goes without saying, but I’m going to say it to re-emphasize the importance of it- PLEASE DON’T TEXT OR TALK ON THE PHONE WHILE DRIVING. Not only is it against the law (especially in a school zone), it is just plain dangerous for you and for anybody else on the road near you.
- Lastly, make sure your children are aware of the LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT philosophy- that is, whether or not there is a crossing guard at their corner, they should always look Left then right then left again when they reach a corner. This needs to be a habit every time they come to the corner.
The safety of every child and parent is primary on my mind at all times while I’m “on duty” and your help in observing these few simple suggestions will go a long way to making things safer for all. Thanks for considering these ideas.
34th St. & Kerbey Lane