Details of operations when a school patrol operates. Part of the School Traffic Safety Teams Manual.
Patrol members need to arrive at school with enough time to put on their uniforms, take the STOP signs from the storage area and make their way to the patrol location by the time the patrol is due to start.
STOP signs are safest when carried ‘stretcher fashion’.
Take extra care on windy days, when it might be a good idea to have the discs horizontal (facing the ground) to reduce wind resistance.
If you’re operating a kea crossing, the supervisor carries the two kea flags and must put them in place before the patrol starts.
When the patrol reaches the crossing:
The patrol leader and supervisor should ensure that pedestrians are not allowed to cross the road while the patrol is being set up.
A barrier arm is an arm raised sideways at right angles to the body to prevent children on the footpath trying to cross the road.
Once the patrol has been set up, it needs to operate quickly, smoothly and efficiently to minimise traffic disruption and delays.
It’s important to make sure that children waiting to cross stand well back from the STOP sign or behind the pedestrian limit line, so that patrol members have a clear view of the road.
Patrols operate in five steps:
A mark or reference point is a feature such as a power pole, tree, signpost or letterbox that has been identified by the school community officer to help patrol leaders make safe decisions before calling ‘Signs out’. A vehicle travelling between a mark and a crossing will be too close to put the signs out safely.
The choice and position of a mark will reflect the speed and density of approaching traffic and the road topography. It must also be easy for the leader to see.
White diamonds are often (but not always) painted on the road to warn drivers that they are approaching a pedestrian crossing. They are not intended as marks to indicate to pedestrians when it is safe to cross, so may not be suitable to be used as marks for school patrols. They should only be used as marks if they reflect the speed and density of approaching traffic, the road topography, and are easy for the leader to see.
Patrol members must not go off patrol while students are still waiting to cross.
Patrols follow six steps before going off duty:
If you’re operating a kea crossing, the supervisor removes both flags after the patrol members have come off the crossing.
*Another option is for the sign to remain hooked onto the post until step 5. Your school community officer will help you decide on the safest unhooking method for your school.
If you’re concerned about student safety on the road due to hazards such as heavy traffic or obstacles that are reducing patrol visibility, talk to your school community officer or road controlling authority. With safety their top priority, they’ll work with you to develop a practical solution.
Your school community officer will determine whether the following option is the safest operating procedure for your crossing.
Patrol members must be specifically trained in this method.
If traffic is too heavy to put both STOP signs out at the same time, one option is to stagger the patrol operation. In this approach:
If your patrol team could have problems seeing approaching traffic – perhaps because the crossing is near a corner – one option is to add a third person to the team. Your school community officer will determine whether this is necessary as part of your school’s training programme.
Located where they have a good view of oncoming traffic, the third person becomes the leader and gives the commands to the other team members. However, there are potential dangers for the third person, so this option will only be used in special circumstances.
Ensure that vegetation doesn’t obscure the patrols’ sightlines. Trim vegetation belonging to the school, or notify your road controlling authority if it is on the footpath.
If these solutions are impractical or no longer working for your school, contact your road controlling authority or school community officer about alternative solutions. These could include relocating the crossing or installing systems such as traffic lights.
If it’s too windy to use the signs safely, school patrols should operate as school wardens instead. This means no signs or any other objects to stop traffic.
Without the signs they no longer have power to stop traffic. They can still raise their arms to stop pedestrians (but not to stop traffic) and tell them when it is safe to cross.