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Obey the Stop Sign!

While most of us are just waking up or beginning our commutes to work in the early morning, there are some people already hard at work here in Sacramento and across the country. They are busy making sure that children make it safely to school across busy and unpredictable intersections. One such person is Lisa, a crossing guard at Arden Middle School located at the corner of Watt Avenue and Arden Way. Thank you for your insights for this article.

Controlling traffic, whether on an ordinary street environment or in a four-way multiple lane environment, with just a hand-held STOP sign and a blaze orange vest is not for the faint of heart. It is a demanding job which requires attention-to-detail, a forceful personality and deep caring for the safety of children. Crossing guards have the unenviable position of putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations as they work to move children safely across busy intersections full of often impatient drivers twice a day. And you can trust that the real motivation behind their work is NOT the small amount of money they make.

Here are the rules that drivers should follow every school day:

  • OBEY THE STOP SIGN! and the person holding it. Unlike the attitude of many drivers for regular traffic stop signs that it is a mere suggestion, the case is different when one is wielded by a crossing guard. Your optional interpretation does NOT apply in a school zone.
  • Do NOT stop in the yellow school crosswalk even if you are going to make a right hand turn.
  • Watch your speed in a school zone. It is only 25 mph even if the regular speed limit for the area is different.
  • Remember that the guard can also report your license plate to the authorities if you don’t follow their directions.

Here are the rules for students:

  • OBEY THE CROSSING GUARD! Yes, he/she are not your father or mother but the guard is the person looking out for your safety. Besides, they can arrange a nice detention with the principal for you if you don’t.
  • Don’t horseplay while crossing or while waiting to cross. It can lead to serious injury or even death. Just ask your crossing guard. They all have a story they can share. Again, they can arrange a nice detention with the principal for you if you don’t behave.
  • Remember to smile at and thank your crossing guard every once in a while. It will make their day.

Here are some suggestions for parents:

  • Get to know your school’s crossing guard. They are wonderful people working to keep your children safe.
  • Re-enforce with your children the need to obey the crossing guard at all times.
  • Remember to smile at and thank the crossing guard at your children’s school every once in a while. It will make their day.

So, remember, OBEY THE SIGN!

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