AAA says participants learn about safety, and fulfill leadership roles.
Towson, Md. (KM). They play an important role in helping young students learn about safety, and fulfill leadership roles. We’re talking about the School Safety Patrol Program, which celebrates its 100th anniversary next year.
“We have 600,000 kids nationally who participate in the School Safety Patrol Program, about 93,000 alone in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country,” says Ragina Ali with AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The idea for a school safety program was pioneered in 1920 by the Chicago Motor Club as the use of the automobile was increasing, which prompted concerns about safety for children walking to school, according to information from WIkipedia. St. Paul, Minnesota became one of the first cities to start a school safety program. It’s also where the belts around the waist and shoulders was developed along the badges.
The junior safety patrol movement took shape in 1930 under the sponsorship of the AAA.
On its website, AAA says Safety Patrols are trained to recognize traffic safety and hazards, and assist in keeping fellow students on their journeys to and from school. “We recognize this program as being very fundamental, that the patrols receive comprehensive training, in many cases working with law enforcement,” says Ali.
But she says these young people can’t do many of the things police officers can do in regards to traffic safety. “While they do not direct traffic, they certainly help students, other students, their peers, to enter roadways,” Ali says.
As part of the centennial next year, AAA is asking former School Safety Patrol Officers to submit their stories on line. (https://www.surveymonkey.com/N95T9Y7)
By Kevin McManus