A crossing guard (North America and India), a school crossing patrol officer (United Kingdom), school crossing supervisor and sometimes guard (Australia) or school road patrol and guard (New Zealand) is a traffic management volunteer who is normally stationed on busy roadways to aid pedestrians. Often associated with elementary school children, crossing guards stop the flow of traffic so pedestrians may cross an intersection. Crossing guards are known by a variety of names, the most widely used in the United Kingdom and Australia being "lollipop lady/man", a reference to the large signs used that resemble lollipops.
No universal regulations exist that describe who may be a crossing guard, where crossing guards are stationed, or for what purposes a crossing guard may be employed. This person may be paid or volunteer; the person may be a school employee, a member of local law enforcement, a city employee, or contracted privately. Many elementary school crossing guards are assisted by older students, known by a variety of titles such as "safety monitor" and "safety patrol." These do not have legal responsibility for the safety of children.
The first school safety patrols were formed in the 1920s, because of growing concern for the well-being of students walking to school because of increasing fatalities and crossing incidents. Early patrols were formed in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1920, and in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1923.
Crossing guards, except those who are duly sworn public safety officers, have no arrest powers, may not write tickets, and may only forward the license plate numbers and other descriptors of alleged violators to local law enforcement, who decide what to do with that information; results may range from nothing at all to a verbal warning to a written summons and fine.
Similar procedures exist in most areas for school bus drivers, who may observe motorists disobeying the bus stop arm or flashing lights usually displayed when children are entering or exiting the bus.
Signs Used By Crossing Guards
Several countries have a unique sign for use by crossing guards to order traffic to stop. In Canada and the United States, crossing guards use a smaller version of the standard octagonal stop sign on a small pole. Australian crossing supervisors some times also use a normal octagonal stop sign, but often have other designs. In Japan, children sometimes hold a yellow flag themselves while crossing the street, or sometimes a crossing guard holds one while they cross.
Source: Crossing Guard