Welland’s crossing guards become whistle-blowers in an attempt to keep children safe
Published September 15, 2021 at 3:14 pm
After not even two weeks of school, Welland has already received complaints of motorists speeding through intersections while crossing guards are attempting to get children safely across the street.
To that end, Welland has equipped all crossing guards with Windsor sports whistles, designed to reach audible levels above the sound of traffic “as an additional measure to communicate with pedestrians and motorists this year.”
Crossing guards will blow one long whistle blast as they determine whether iit is safe to enter the crosswalk, as well as alerting motorists they are stepping out into the crosswalk.
Then they will blow two short whistle blasts which convey that pedestrians and students may safely cross the street.
“All crossing guards are wearing masks to help keep those around them safe, but in doing so, they can reduce the quality and clarity of verbal communication which we are used to relying on,” said Jolene Kostick, workplace health, safety, and wellness specialist.
“(Welland) brought in the whistles to provide an additional audible control to assist the crossing guards carry out their high-risk tasks. It is the opinion of everyone involved who is actively improving the crossing guard program at the City that crossing guards have the vital task of keeping our kids and other members of the community safe when crossing our streets, and no one should feel at risk when doing so.”
School crossing guards are regulated to stop traffic movement under the authority of the Highway Traffic Act.
Therefore, the City reminds motorists to obey the crossing guards’ signals and exercise safe driving in all school zones and crosswalks.
Anyone who witnesses unsafe conditions is encouraged to contact the City and report the incident. Regulated by the Niagara Regional Police in terms of enforcement, the City would like to know about incidents to respond quickly and accordingly.