Kids at crosswalks depend on those around them to help keep things safe.
That fact has always been true, but with the school year continuing into the winter months, it will become an even bigger factor in crosswalk safety.
As the year gets colder, more people will be using their vehicles to go to and from schools, whether that be dropping off or picking up kids.
Angel Blair, senior communications specialist and school safety patrol coordinator for CAA, would like to encourage people to keep their eyes open when passing by.
"What we're saying is keep safety in mind," Blair said. "If you're a motorist, be alert around those school zones and playgrounds. As a motorist, there are several things you can do to help our school safety patrollers."
Slowing down in a school zone or playground is of course the first step. While the speed limit is already quite low, kids don't always pay attention as they run off after classes, excited to get home out of the cold. Icey roads can make stopping in time as a child darts out from behind a parked vehicle on the side very risky.
The other thing is to watch for the CAA Patrollers. These children man the crosswalks by a school, helping ensure everyone is crossing safely. They are equipped with bright high visibility vests, and often tout signs as well. They are always accompanied by an adult supervisor, who helps them in case of emergencies, with remaining safe and taking down any license plate numbers of people who do not obey the rules.
It's especially important to note where these crosswalks are located, as frost can cover up signage once it settles over the prairies. Keeping an eye out and making note of where they are set up before the cold can cover them up can help prevent confusion later on.
"We have had a lot of success with patrollers going on to some really interesting careers," said Blair. "For a lot of these students, this is the first time that they will get a chance to volunteer."
Exposing children to this kind of public service volunteer work can help to instill a sense of work ethic. Giving them a chance early on to experience the benefits of devoting their time to something outside of school and play. Being in a position to make a difference and learn about the effect of taking an active role can be huge to a young developing mind.