QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 19, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Raphaël Lapierre perfectly illustrates what the CAA-Quebec school safety patrol is all about when he says: "Rain or shine, I'm on the job!" These are committed, reliable young people who care deeply about their fellow students' safety and, as patrollers, develop their self-esteem and sense of responsibility.
Raphaël, a safety patroller for the 2016-2017 school year, is among some 500,000 students who have worn the yellow vest since the creation of the CAA-Quebec school safety patrol in 1929. Every year, some 5,000 young people at over 300 schools join its ranks.
School patrollers are older students in 4th, 5th and 6th grades and they wear their vests in the school halls, on school buses and at some intersections. They ensure that their friends travel calmly and follow safety rules.
The young patrollers develop their sense of responsibility
"It's wonderful to see these youngsters," says Marco Harrison, Director of the CAA‑Quebec Foundation for Road Safety. "They get up early or get home late. They deal with the cold, rain and snow. No one forces them to do it, but they proudly agree to help their friends. They develop their sense of responsibility and a social awareness. And when the time comes to talk about driving too fast or impaired, they already understand."
On the topic of awareness, in early September eight young patrollers accompanied traffic safety experts for a period of observation around their schools. To say the least, they weren't very impressed with the behaviour of motorists, and the youngsters had something to tell them.
The young patrollers lead by example
"I always have lots of volunteers: they know what it means, to teach by example," says Madame Annie, supervisor of the safety patrol at Raphaël's school, École Saint-André in Acton Vale.
Confirms Sûreté du Québec officer Jonathan Bélisle: "When we're on our beat, we notice the school safety patrollers and we see they're alert. We find that's important and that it improves safety at school crossings."
The school safety patrol is a flexible program that meets almost all the safety needs of schools.
It couldn't be easier to organize a school safety patrol:
- Parent, teacher, principal or volunteer: any adult involved with the school can take the lead.
- CAA-Quebec, in partnership with the SAAQ, provides all the documents, membership cards, logbooks, etc., free of charge, along with the guidance needed to set up a school safety patrol.
- The accessories (vests, belts, etc.) can be purchased on the school safety patrol website.
- It's easy and fast to sign up at caaquebec.com.
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides all of its members with peace of mind by offering them high-quality automotive, travel, residential and insurance benefits, products and services. As a leading advocate for road safety at every stage of life, its actions and services in this area include child car-seat verification clinics, a school safety patroller program, and awareness activities for seniors as well as secondary school students.
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