A free training program for all school crossing guards in Iowa will be launched this month, the first time Iowa’s had a uniform statewide effort. Molly Gable is coordinating the training through the Iowa Bicycle Coalition’s Safe Routes to Schools program. Gable says full-day courses will be held in six Iowa cities over the coming weeks.
Gable says, “Guards will be learning about special techniques they can use at crossings, different laws that might pertain to crossing guards, policies they should be going through with their own guards, procedures, hazards and safety issues they might encounter while on their guard posts.”
While many communities have crossing guards, she says they’re all coordinated locally and some get very little training. The statewide program is designed to increase safety for students and crossing guards and to bring increased awareness to drivers about school crossings.
Gable says, “We do recognize that there are differences among a smaller town as opposed to a larger town but we cover a broad base of different issues for a crossing guard and what they should know.” A study found parents are concerned about safety when their kids ride bikes or walk to school and Gable says the goal of the program is to create more peace of mind for parents, while boosting the number of kids who walk or ride bikes to school. She says having one, uniform program statewide will be an advantage.
Gable says, “Motorists might not always understand how they should react towards a crossing guard and by having a uniform crossing guard training, we’re hoping when a motorist in Iowa comes across a guard, they’ll realize what to do, because they’ve seen it in their own town.”
The free course will be geared for school or community crossing guard trainers and supervisors like school officials or law enforcement officers. The classes will be held: November 17th in Cedar Rapids, November 19th in Ames, December 1st in Mason City, December 3rd in Sioux City, December 8th in Atlantic and December 15th in Fairfield. The training sessions will run from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M.
For details, visit “www.iowasaferoutes.org“.