The Fayette Citizen-School Life Page
Wednesday, August 19, 1998
AAA school safety patrols get high grades

(NAPS)Experts report that the trip to school is now a safer one and point to school safety patrols as one of the major reasons for that.

The school safety patrol program was started by AAA in 1920, and has involved millions of children in the United States. Currently, 500,000 patrol members serve some 50,000 U.S. schools.

How It Works

Patrol members are upper-elementary and middle or junior high school students who help their schoolmates avoid pedestrian accidents. They are posted at school crossing areas to remind students of basic safety rules and help students cross the street safely. In addition, participants gain leadership experience and other skills they can use in the future.

Patrol groups are usually led by teachers who volunteer their time to help make the program a success. Parent-teacher organizations also may offer time and assistance. In most communities, AAA clubs sponsor and provide major support for patrol groups by supplying training materials, recognition programs for service and patrol equipmentincluding the familiar belt and badge.

But there's another factor in the safety patrol equationthe motoring public. The success of the movement depends on cooperation from anyone who shares the road with children.

Tips For Motorists

Here, from the AAA, are some things to pay special attention to when driving near a school:

· Obey posted speeds throughout the school zonenot just in front of the school.

· Allow more than enough time and space to react to dangerous situations.

· Expect kids to do the unexpected. Most pedestrian accidents take place between crossings, not in them.

· Heed the directions of school safety patrol crossing guards.

Important to remember is that every day there is a pedestrian rush hour not normally thought ofthe millions of young students walking to and from school. Their safety is enhanced by the dedication and hard work of AAA safety patrols.

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