Thorough patroller training is an absolute requirement. Training can take place at school or special summer camps.
A trainer can be a patrol advisor, AAA representative or law enforcement officer.
When possible, train new patrol members for the upcoming year before the current school year ends. Schedule refresher training for both new and veteran members before the school year begins.
Information to cover:
- Fundamentals of traffic safety.
- Duties of each patrol post.
- Identifying sufficient gaps in traffic to allow safe crossing.
- Special hazards.
- Dealing with pedestrians.
- School bus safety procedures.
- Safety procedures on school grounds.
- Maintaining records by officers.
- Roles patrollers should not participate in, such as not directing traffic or being a “bully” monitor.
School training may be conducted as:
- Regularly scheduled meetings.
- Formal classes lead by advisors or other trainers.
- One-on-one instruction at each post.
- Written guidelines and oral or written quizzes.
- Joint classes held in cooperation with other schools and involving new and veteran patrollers.
- Viewing of training videos from the local AAA club or AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, followed by discussion.
- Diagramming a duty post and highlighting hazards and a patrol plan for the specific crossing or duty.
- Practicing school bus drills and post procedures.
Training methods can be used individually or in combination. Because officers take on more responsibility and have more complex duties, most schools provide additional training for incoming officers.
Some communities schedule a patrol member training camp over summer vacation. This camp may be open to all patrol members or officers. Camps are ideally scheduled just before school re-opens so the training is fresh in the minds of patrol members on the first day of school.
Camps combine traffic safety education with fun activities. Classes may be taught by law enforcement, safety experts or representatives from your local AAA club. Veteran patrol members also may lead discussion sessions or conduct role-playing exercises.
Most camps end with an exam and “graduation” ceremony in which successful trainees receive certificates, pins, and a training camp T-shirt. Civic organizations and PTAs may be able to cover fees for training camps.