What is the CAA School Safety Program?
The CAA School Safety Patrol program has more than 20,000 student volunteers in Ontario. Student Patrollers encourage and model safe behaviour to other students and the greater community. These safety specialists are trained each year through a formal course provided by CAA to the local CAA approved training partner – usually a police service or busing consortium.
There are two types of Patrollers – Bus and Foot Patrollers. Schools may have one or both types of Patrollers.
Foot Patrollers monitor school crossings by ensuring students cross roads near their school in a safe and responsible manner. Unlike Adult Crossing Guards, Patrollers do not stop or direct traffic.
Bus Patrollers help the Bus Driver transport student passengers to and from school in a safe and orderly manner, as well as setting a proper example. Patrollers only exit the bus to assist with the loading and unloading of students at the school.
Safety of Patrollers while on duty is ensured through top-notch training, adult supervision and regular audits. Patrollers wear a bright lime green vest as their uniform, which has been designed with safety and visibility in mind.
The program is a success due to the diverse partnerships between CAA, the police, school boards, Bus Drivers, consortiums, teachers, parents and dedicated student volunteers. It’s this team approach that has allowed the program to be successful.
Why is CAA Involved?
More than 85 years ago, CAA decided that a program was needed to keep children safe while travelling to and from school. At the time, the automobile was just becoming more frequent on our roads, and children were getting injured because of its presence near schools. With increased traffic – from children walking to and from school and automobiles and buses picking up or dropping off students – the CAA School Safety Patrol program is more relevant than ever. The program helps to ensure safer school zones.
Through the decades, we’ve seen proof of the value of the program in Ontario. There are more than 80 documented cases of Patrollers saving lives. While most students will never need to put their training to use, they learn valuable skills that help them become engaged.
CAA also believes in giving back to our communities. The CAA School Safety Patrol program is just one of the many programs in our commitment to community action. To learn more, click here.
Partners & Roles
CAA has a long-standing legacy of delivering top-notch road safety initiatives in Ontario – the CAA School Safety Patrol Program is a cornerstone of this history since it was developed back in the 1920s. CAA values the team approach in how the program works. It’s a partnership between CAA, school boards, police services, busing consortiums, teachers, parents and student Patrollers. Each partner has a specific role and responsibility and it’s this approach that has allowed the program to grow and deliver amazing results.
Develops and publishes all CAA Safety Patrol program materials. This includes teaching resources for our training partners, and Patroller materials such as handbooks, membership cards and the safety vests worn while on duty.
Organizes/provides regional and province-wide reward/recognition incentives to thank Patrollers for their volunteer effort.
Audits the School Safety Patrol to ensure adherence to program standards.
Liaises with program partners on a regular basis.
Grants permission for the program to operate at their school. Often the school principal takes on this role and appoints a teacher at their school – the Patrol Supervisor – to lead the School Safety Patrol program for their school.
Duties of the Patrol Supervisor include:
|Police Service/Busing Consortium||
Deliver the School Safety Patrol training to the students, order and distribute program materials, provide program information to CAA, assist in local Patroller incentives and liaise regularly with CAA during the year.
They also help ensure schools meet the School Safety Patrol program criteria.
Give permission – by signing the school permission form – for their child to participate in the CAA School Safety Patrol program.
Encourage and support their Patroller during the year.
NOTE: Additional permission forms may need to be signed during the year to participate in Patroller appreciation events in your area.
Bring home and return parental consent form for program participation.
Actively participate in the CAA School Safety Patrol training session to better understand their role and responsibilities.
Keep patrol teacher supervisor and/or bus driver aware of any challenges while on duty.
Follow the rules and safety information shared at the CAA Safety Patrol training session.
Work to keep fellow students safe getting across the road and getting on and off school buses throughout the year.
When children travel to and from school every day, we know they’ll be safer thanks to the more than 20,000 Ontario elementary school students who volunteer as CAA School Safety Patrollers.
Why it’s great for students (11-14 years old):
- Teaches overall road safety, teamwork and leadership skills
- Fosters volunteerism in action and citizenship
- Develops self-confidence, responsibility and character building
- Enhances the rapport between students and school/community authority figures
- Creates a positive role model for younger students
- Earns the respect and recognition from peers, school administrators and community leaders
Why it’s great for schools:
- Extra measure of safety in school zones without relying on school manpower
- Training materials and program supplies are provided at no cost
- Encourages a positive collaboration between students and the community
- Online resources for teachers
- Serves as a constructive outlet for student energy
- The CAA School Safety Patrol program has 80+ years of proven experience
The CAA School Safety Patrol Program is a community – just look at what our volunteers have helped us achieve to date:
- 55 police services in Ontario partner with CAA to provide top-notch training
- Over 100,000 elementary school student volunteers across Canada participate each year
- Over 800 schools across Ontario participate in the program
- Over 3.45 million hours are volunteered each year to keep our communities safe
- Over 80 cases of Patrollers saving others from injury have been documented since the program’s inception
- The School Safety Patrol Program is endorsed by the Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange (OSBIE)
Where is it & How do I Start One?
The CAA School Safety Patrol program operates at over 800 schools across Ontario. The map above identifies cities that currently participate. If you know the community service officer of your local police service, contact them and ask about implementing the program. Alternatively, fill out the contact information below and we will reply within (5) business days.
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When did CAA start the School Safety Patrol Program and why?
CAA began the School Safety Patrol Program back in 1929, just as the automobile started to become more common. There was concern then – just as there is today – about children’s safety in school zones due to increasing traffic.
Do student Patrollers need to wear the CAA School Safety Patrol vest?
Yes. The distinctive lime-green vest with the reflective striping is designed with safety in mind and approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). It’s the student Patrollers’ uniform when on duty and must only be worn by trained Patrollers. It’s been designed for children to wear as it is easily seen and recognizes their specific safety role. The vest is worn as the top layer of clothing in order to maintain visibility.
Can grade 5 students be Patrollers?
Students considered for this program must be 11 – 13 years of age and in grades 6 to 8. If, however, your school only goes to grade 5, then the grade 5 students would be eligible to volunteer.
Is there liability involved in running the CAA School Safety Patrol Program at my school?
The CAA School Safety Patrol Program has the same risks/liabilities as running any other after-school program at a school. CAA takes the responsibility of protecting children very seriously. That’s why we audit the program, update training materials every few years and use external organizations, such as the Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange (OSBIE), to review and endorse the program.
What if a Patroller is using their role to bully other kids?
During CAA School Safety Patrol training, students are reminded not to abuse their position and to treat everyone with respect and courtesy. A Patroller’s role does not include disciplining or arguing with people who choose to ignore their direction. Speak to the Patrol Supervisor at the school to resolve any of these challenges between Patrollers and students.
Can I change how the CAA School Safety Patrol Program is run?
The CAA School Safety Patrol Program has 80 plus years of proven results and success. The Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange supports the program. CAA also audits the program and training curriculum every few years to ensure it is best-in-class. Modifying the program can cause unnecessary risk to students involved and affect the integrity of the CAA School Safety Patrol Program.
How do I start a CAA School Safety Patrol Program in my area?
Who is able to train the program?
CAA has chosen select police services and busing consortiums as our exclusive training partners. This allows us to ensure a quality program.
To see if the School Safety Patrol is available in your area, click the link below.
What does a student need to do to become a Patroller?
To ensure a Patroller is ready for duty, they are required to do two things: first, they participate in a practical and hands-on training session, delivered by one of our training partners; secondly, they must pass a Patroller exam (with a minimum of 75 percent).