This Road Safety Week we’re celebrating Road Safety Heroes. School crossing patrol officers are on the front line, helping children and their parents get safely to school.
Crossing patrol officers also teach children the valuable lesson of how to navigate busy roads safely as well as providing a friendly face within the community. We spoke to crossing patrol officer, Jacqui, on duty on Wollaton Road to find more about her and why she thinks crossing patrol officers are important.
Tell me about your role and what you do
“Basically, I’m here to support children to cross the road safety and the families.
“My favourite part is seeing the children, the people. They’re all so friendly, so thankful that I’m here. And it’s just great to see them every morning even if it is raining. Always a smile on their faces and the way they’re really friendly to me. Even all the children are like ‘Morning Jacqui’… ‘Good afternoon!’ it’s just so, so nice.”
How did you become a crossing patrol officer?
“My daughter was a student at the school. And I thought the road was really busy, the ring road hadn’t been sorted out then and it was just a nightmare in the mornings, and we were struggling to cross the road, so I just applied! And that was it. So, they were thankful that someone was wanting to take the job on because it was a dangerous crossing so it’s a lot better now.”
Do you have to undergo training to be a crossing patrol officer?
“Yes, initial training. Obviously you need to know when to cross! But also to be in the correct uniform, and how to be seen and how to stand.
“At least once or twice a year we try to get together as a group, to go through if there’re any issues. So that’s like a form of training as well as offering support as a group.”
Why do you think it’s an important job?
“Oh, it’s just great because it proves to the children that road safety is really important. It gets them to recognise that using the crossing is an important thing. Don’t just cross at any part of the road. I know that they do the Road Safety Week at school and they’re always really hot on it then, but it’s nice to just reinforce, having somebody here all the time.
“I feel like we support the whole community as well, because it’s not just the families. I see other people as well in the mornings like the dog walkers. Everyone says hello, there’s always ‘Morning Jacqui, how are you?’ For some of the elderly people, I might be the only person they speak to in the day. I just feel like I’m really a part of the community, so it’s a really good role, I think.”