Crossing guards play a vital role in the lives of children who walk or bike to school each day. At the same time, the position of crossing guard is one of the most dangerous municipal jobs.[1]  They often face poor crosswalk and sidewalk infrastructure, distracted drivers and hazardous conditions such as bad weather and potholes that can lead to slips, trips and falls. [2]

Children require assistance with crossing streets safely and learning appropriate street crossing behavior when walking and biking to school. Due to the large number of “walker” friendly neighborhood schools, New Jersey has one of the highest concentrations of crossing guards in the nation.  Despite the important role crossing guards play in our communities, consistent and comprehensive training has not been available.

Train the trainer

Crossing guard supervisor training in Burlington County

A redesigned Crossing Guard Resource webpage at saferoutesnj.org/crossingguards was launched to provide additional tools to support school crossing guards and assist traffic safety officers. The new website includes the new Training Manual, a Model Municipal Crossing Guard Policy, a Post Observation Report template, and a Crossing Guard Performance Checklist. Several municipalities have already adopted the municipal policy, and are using the Post Observation Report to document conditions at a crossing and to assist a new crossing guard become familiar with a crossing.

 With funding from New Jersey Department of Transportation and New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the New Jersey Crossing Guard Training Program was developed.  Additional regional train-the-trainer sessions will be offered in 2014, and new crossing guard training resources, including a training video, photo resources, and tip sheets, will be available on the website. Be sure to check out our website and sign up to receive updates!

Crossing guards are critical to the safety of our children, and deserve respect. Please drive carefully in school zones and remember to THANK all our crossing guards!


[1]Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund of New Jersey. (n.d.). Street Smart is Street Safe: A Program to Protect Children and School Crossing Guards.  http://njmel.org/index.php/safety/crossing-guards/158-street-smart-is-safe. Accessed Sept. 5, 2011.

 [2] New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services. Educational Outreach to New Jersey Adult School Crossing Guards. http://www.state.nj.us/health/surv/documents/xguardsrpt.pdf. Accessed January 9, 2012.