STAYING SAFE – Emma Muller

STAYING SAFE – Emma Muller

Local program marks 75 years of keeping kids safe

Traffic safety a priority as students head back to class this week

  • Sep. 5, 2012 3:16 p.m.

School is officially back in session and the Alberta Motor Association wants to remind motorists to be extra careful to watch for pedestrians.

With so many distractions behind the wheel motorists need to slow down and stay alert in residential areas, officials say.

This year is the 75th anniversary of AMA’s School Safety Patrol and the program is still going strong. According to Richard Hornby, executive director of Safe Communities of Central Alberta, the AMA School Patrol over the past 75 years has created a lot of leaders in the community.

Generations of local patrollers have developed their leadership skills in the crosswalk including Hornby. He started his leadership training at the intersection of 20 Ave. and 9th St. NW in Calgary when he was attending King George School in 1959/60.

“I think the kids see it as a leadership role,” said Hornby. “It is something that they can do for their community.”

As students return to the crosswalk, 500 patrollers and 16 schools in the Red Deer region will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of AMA School Safety Patrol.

“I think that it is just amazing that they have such an incredible record for 75 years of safety at the intersections around schools,” said Hornby. “We are lucky to have the schools and the AMA and the kids all participating and keeping it happening.”

As there are more motorists on the roads, more traffic around schools and more people driving kids to school, Hornby said that it is getting tougher to be a safety patroller and these positions are as essential as ever.

Emma Muller, 9, Cody Noble 9, and Ryker Mansell, 10, are three students from Oriole Park School who donned yellow safety vests and took to the corner to get their classmates safely to school on Tuesday.

Darcy Baron, AMA School Safety Patrol regional coordinator said that the students did a great job of reminding both motorists and pedestrians that school is back in session and the safety rules still apply this year.