A Signalized Crosswalk

A variety of traffic and pedestrian signals are found at signalized crosswalks including traffic signals with standard pedestrian signal heads and, in some locations, traffic signals with pedestrian countdown signals which show pedestrians how much crossing time remains. Signalized crosswalks may also have pedestrian pushbuttons which are electronic buttons used by pedestrians to change the traffic signal timing. An adult school crossing guard should be trained in the proper use of the signal at the crossing where he or she will work.

In general, a guard stands in the center of the street with their STOP paddle held high while students cross in the crosswalk, and only allows students to start crossing with the appearance of the WALKING MAN signal or green light in absence of a pedestrian signal. If the signal's timing is too short to allow this approach, the local committee should take steps to remedy the situation. For example, more guards could be assigned to the crosswalk, more time could be added to the signal or the guard could escort the students across the entire street and return to his or her original starting position on the next signal cycle. If a guard escorts students across the entire street, the guard must instruct the other children to wait until he or she returns before crossing.  A guard cannot extend the crossing time with the STOP paddle when the signal turns green for the opposing traffic.

A guard who is assigned to signalized crosswalks has this sequence to follow:

  • Stand on the side of the street from which children are approaching. If there is a pedestrian push button, push the button.
  • Group children a safe distance from the curb or edge of the street or behind the “stand-back” line. Instruct children to cross only at the guard's signal.
  • Teach children who approach a crossing on a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard to dismount and push the bicycle or scooter or carry the skateboard across the street as a pedestrian.
  • Enter the street in this sequence:
  1. Enter the street only with a WALKING MAN or green signal, and the STOP paddle held high. Stand on the crosswalk line closest to the intersection.
  2. Face oncoming traffic and make eye contact with drivers who are attempting to turn.
  3. Verbally instruct the students to begin their search (left, right, left and over their shoulders, for turning traffic) and cross when safe.
  4. Tell the students to continue walking if the signal changes to a flashing UPRAISED HAND, but do not allow children to start crossing at this time. Help students learn that a flashing UPRAISED HAND signal means they need to wait.
  5. Wait for children to reach the opposite side of the street.
  6. Return to the curb or edge of the street with your STOP paddle held high. After reaching the curb or edge of the street, a guard can lower his or her hand(s) and allow traffic to flow again.  Return to the curb before the signal turns green for opposing traffic.