The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is planning to start a training program for school crossing guards in Iowa.
Molly Gable is the coalition’s "Safe Routes to Schools" director, and recently traveled to Florida to study their program for school crossing guards.
Gable says Florida is a leader in crossing guard training. She says the state has one of the only Department of Transportation sponsored crossing guard programs in the nation. Gable says the program is pretty thorough, teaching guards how to use signs and the laws in the state.
She says it’s a two-day program in Florida that she would like to duplicate in Iowa. Gable brought back a lot of the instructional information and went through the program, and is now trying to transfer that information to reflect Iowa laws. Gable hopes to provide the training to new and current crossing guards across the state.
Gable says she doesn’t have the funds to go to every community, so she wants to train some people who can do regional training across the state. Gable says the ultimate goal is to create more peace of mind for parents and increase the number of kids who walk or ride bikes to school.
Gable says the National Center for Safe Routes to School did a study of parents and looked at the top reasons why parents didn’t let kids walk or ride bikes to school and safety was the top reason. She hopes a standard training program will ease some of those safety concerns.
Crossing guards would go through the two-day program and then have to pass a written test to be certified. Gable hopes to get the program going this fall.