A document with the word caa on it.

Sep 16, 2023

6 min. read

Some heroes carry stop signs and step onto roads to perform their duties. Others carry backpacks and watch over their younger peers on school buses and around the school.

Thanks to the CAA School Safety Patrol® (SSP) program, young volunteers across Canada in grades 5 to 8 are helping their peers stay safe as they travel to and from school every day. Sometimes, the job becomes dramatic.

One young Ontario School Safety Patroller had to navigate a 911 call to help a bus driver survive an anaphylactic attack. After the paramedics left, she guided the replacement driver to the correct stops along the route for each student.

Most of the School Safety Patroller’s work is watching, listening and leading. Foot Patrollers keep an eye on the roads and ensure all is safe for students crossing. Bus Patrollers work alongside school bus drivers to maintain a safe bus.

Unlike crossing guards, Patrollers don’t direct traffic or accompany peers across the street. Their role is to ensure the roadway is safe before kids cross on their own. In keeping with SSP’s role as a community program, CAA partners with local police, bus consortiums and teachers to train these young volunteers.

The benefits to school and community are huge as the program reinforces safety around the school and on school buses. And for the participating kids, gaining confidence and leadership skills will help them later in life.

School Zone Safety Tips

Everyone has a role in keeping school zones safe. According to a 2022 CAA survey, the most common unsafe driving behaviours parents have witnessed are speeding, double parking and stopping at undesignated areas.

School Safety Tips for Parents

The most important thing for parents to remember is to be vigilant and take your time. Here are more school-safety tips:

  • Work out a morning routine that keeps you from feeling rushed or distracted.

  • Use designated drop-off zones and obey speed limits and other signs.

  • Consider carpooling, walking or cycling to ease drop-off traffic.


School Safety Tips for Children

Kids too can benefit from a reminder to be on their guard at all times. Here are additional tips to ensure their safety:

  • Tell them how to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they are seen before crossing the road.

  • Plan a route and make sure your children know the landmarks to make their way to school safely.

  • Consider using the buddy system, so no one walks or cycles alone.


Watch for CAA School Safety Patrollers

When travelling to or from school, watch for CAA School Safety Patrollers in their lime-green vests, as they play an important role in keeping school zones safe.


Visit caasco.com/schoolzone for more information on keeping school zones safe for everyone.

Share this article: