For over 70 years, CAA Saskatchewan has been at the forefront of school zone safety through our coordinated and managed CAA School Safety Patrol program.
Within the bustling school zones, our CAA School Safety Patrollers – older students themselves – play a crucial role in helping their fellow students cross intersections safely.
Patrollers stand out in their bright neon reflector vests, equipped with STOP paddles that serve as beacons of safety. They act as an additional set of eyes, ears, and helping hands, embodying the values of responsibility, teamwork, and pedestrian safety.
It's a challenging task that demands vigilance and dedication, but our patrollers rise to the occasion day in and day out and make a significant difference when it comes to protecting young pedestrians.
As the routines of families become busier, with more activities before and after school, the traffic rush during pick-up and drop-off times has increased.
While it is the responsibility of drivers to adhere to the rules of the road, it's important to note that school zones and speed limits are not uniform throughout the province.
This means that navigating areas requires extra caution and attention from all road users, including busy parents, new-to-Canada drivers, and even teenage siblings assigned the duty of transportation.
At times like these, patrollers tirelessly direct traffic and provide clear instructions for those needing to cross the street, ensuring that everyone can navigate these areas with confidence and peace of mind.
With more than 3,000 patrollers representing nearly 100 schools across 43 communities in our province, we are immensely grateful for the dedication and support of families and community partners.
Our success relies on the collaboration of school divisions, patrol coordinators, law enforcement agencies, provincial and municipal governments, and the business community.
Benefits of Becoming a CAA School Safety Patroller
Becoming a CAA School Safety Patrol member is the first volunteer job for many students. A “fun” job that often creates a special bond and memories to last a lifetime.
Through their involvement, patrollers not only make a positive impact on their school communities but also acquire lifelong skills that foster confidence and demonstrate the importance of safety.
Some of the benefits that they get are:
1. Learn the rules of the road
Becoming a CAA School Safety Patroller offers a unique opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of the rules of the road.
As patrollers take on the responsibility of ensuring the safety of their peers in school zones, they become intimately familiar with traffic regulations and pedestrian protocols.
Through training and hands-on experience, patrollers gain a thorough knowledge of road safety guidelines, including the proper use of crosswalks, pedestrian right-of-way, and traffic signal awareness.
This invaluable knowledge not only enhances their personal safety but also equips them with essential life skills that extend far beyond their school years.
2. Gain leadership qualities
Becoming a CAA School Safety Patroller also offers an exceptional opportunity for students to develop and showcase their leadership qualities.
As patrollers take charge of ensuring the safety of their fellow students in school zones, they step into a position of responsibility and authority.
They learn to confidently direct traffic, provide clear instructions, and handle unexpected situations with poise and quick thinking, which allows them to hone essential leadership skills such as effective communication, decision-making, and problem-solving.
From teamwork and cooperation to demonstrating initiative and resilience, these leadership qualities help patrollers thrive not only during their patrolling duties but also in future endeavors.
3. Learn time management and organizational skills
CAA School Safety Patrollers need to maintain punctuality and be present at their assigned posts during specific hours, ensuring the safety of their peers during peak traffic times.
This gives them an excellent opportunity to develop their time management and organizational skills.
By juggling their patrolling responsibilities alongside their academic and extracurricular commitments, students get to learn the value of effective time management.
They develop the ability to prioritize tasks, allocate their time efficiently, and meet deadlines – skills that not only benefit them during their patrolling duties but also translate into their future endeavors.
4. Develop empathy for fellow students
Another profound benefit of becoming a CAA School Safety Patroller is the development of empathy for fellow students who rely on them for assistance.
As patrollers take on this responsibility, they gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and vulnerabilities that other students face while navigating busy school zone intersections.
This leads patrollers to cultivate a heightened sense of empathy and become attuned to the importance of providing a supportive and caring environment for their peers, ensuring their safety and well-being.
5. Display a commitment to the community
By taking on the responsibility of ensuring the safety of their fellow students in school zones, safety patrollers exhibit a deep sense of dedication and service to their community.
They serve as role models and ambassadors of responsible citizenship, showcasing the importance of taking an active role in building a safer and more harmonious community.
By displaying such a commitment, patrollers not only enhance their own personal growth but also contribute to the overall well-being and safety of their school and the community at large.
How to Start a CAA School Safety Patrol Program at Your School
CAA School Safety Patrollers are trained in school by a school coordinator with the help of a school resource officer/ local RCMP member.
There is both written and practical training for students to ensure they know the rules of the road.
All of the training materials, equipment, and supplies are available at no charge and are provided by CAA Saskatchewan for your elementary school to start and run the program.
Supplies include reflector vests, stop paddles, Captain, and Lieutenant pins, and whistles for patrollers.
To start a CAA School Safety Patrol program in your school, register your school with us by filling in this form that can be found on our website.
When you register your school and patrollers, each year in the fall you will receive program information and updates and will also be eligible for the CAA School Safety Patrol Month celebration packages.
We also invite all our CAA School Safety Patrol coordinators to share their patroller photos and program updates through our CAA School Safety Patrol Facebook page.
The month of May (proclaimed as CAA School Safety Patrol Month by the Minister of Education in Saskatchewan) is a time to recognize and thank the patrollers for their valuable volunteer commitment. Schools often host appreciation events such as a pizza, swimming, bowling, or a movie party with snacks.
To learn more about the CAA School Safety Patrol program, you can visit us at caask.ca/patrollers.