Welland school crossing guards using whistles to help communicate with drivers and students

crosswalk

Welland is taking a new approach to crackdown on drivers speeding through school cross walks.

The city says as an additional measure to communicate with pedestrians and motorists this year, it has equipped all crossing guards with Windsor sports whistles, designed to louder than the sound of traffic, at the push of a button.

The guards will first sound the whistle with one long blast when they determine it is safe to enter the crosswalk, alerting motorists they are stepping out into the crosswalk.

Then they will whistle two short blasts indicating pedestrians may cross the street.

“All crossing guards are wearing masks to help keep those around them safe, but in doing so, they can reduce the quality and clarity of verbal communication which we are used to relying on,” said Jolene Kostick, workplace health, safety, and wellness specialist.

“We brought in the whistles to provide additional audible control to assist the crossing guards to carry out their high-risk tasks. It is the opinion of everyone involved who is actively improving the crossing guard program at the City that crossing guards have the vital task of keeping our kids and other members of the community safe when crossing our streets, and no one should feel at risk when doing so.”

School crossing guards are regulated to stop traffic movement under the authority of the Highway Traffic Act. 

Anyone who witnesses unsafe conditions is encouraged to contact the City and report the incident.

Regulated by the Niagara Regional Police in terms of enforcement, the City would like to know about incidents to respond quickly and accordingly.