Toronto Considers Eliminating “School Cross-Guard Program”

Update:    

Cross Walk - Crossing Guards help children and anyone else that needs assistance, to cross the crosswalk safely.

The City of Toronto’s budget, which faces a $774 million shortfall next year, has motivated the City to look for ways to reduce/eliminate costs before taxpayers are forced to pay an additional three (3) per cent in property taxes.

In an effort to implement cost cutting measures, the City of Toronto hired KPMG to find inefficiences.  KPMG released their report to the City of Toronto.

There were many recommendations in KPMG’s report to reduce or eliminate costs:

  • Riverdale Farm
  • Recycling targets
  • Snow removal
  • Grass cutting
  • Sell off the C.N.E and the Toronto Zoo and the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
  • Reduce police patrols from two officers down to one
  • Cancel public health funding for AIDS prevention, and student nutrition
  • Close library branches
  • Sell parking lots and sell or lease TTC parking lots
  • Contract out more of the TTC’s Wheel Trans program

    Vehicles don't always stop for children at crosswalks, even after the button has been pushed and the flashing lights have been activated
  • Reduce or eliminate the Community Partnership and Investment Program
  • Eliminate the dental health program for those who are unable to get dental care anywhere else

In addition to looking at the above to reduce costs, the City has reviewed the possibility of releasing 17,000 City employees.

Another thing that was looked at was reducing or eliminating the school crossing guard program. The report suggests that a student-based school crossing-guard program would take some time to be re-established, to replace the existing school crossing guard program run by the Toronto Police Services.  Cutting the program would save about $3.7 million.

Councillor Adam Vaughan demanded Mayor Rob Ford stop any talk about cutting the Toronto Police school crossing-guard program.

One Toronto Police Service website states that school crossing guards earn a salary of $10.68 per hour with 12% Travelling Allowance and 4% Vacation Pay; another is less detailed and states that crossing guards work a minimum of three hours per day and are paid an hourly wage with travel and vacation bonuses.

Crossing Guards come from a variety of different backgrounds.
• Some are retired persons looking to start a second career.
• Some are stay-at home parents looking for additional income.
• Some just want to help keep their communities safe.
• School crossing guards range in age from 18 to 80.

Duties of a School Crossing Guard
• School crossing guards work at locations deemed too busy for children to cross without assistance.
• School crossing guards are responsible for ensuring elementary school aged children from Junior Kindergarten to grade six cross the street safely when travelling to and from school.

Working hours for School Crossing Guards
• School crossing guards work every school day during the morning walk to school, the lunch period, and the afternoon walk home.
• Crossing guards work a minimum of three hours per day. They are paid an hourly wage with travel and vacation bonuses.

Qualifications to be a School Crossing Guard

When a crossing guard is not around, children must rely on this system (STOP, PUSH BUTTON, POINT AND CROSS) and hope to get across the street safely, if vehicles co-operate.

To be eligible to apply as a school crossing guard you must:
• Be eligible to work in Canada.
• Be a minimum of 18 years of age.
• Be able to verbally communicate in English.
• Must not be facing criminal charges or charges under a Federal Statute.
• Must not have a criminal record.
• Must meet minimum vision requirements of (corrected to) 20/30 in both eyes.
• Be certified by a qualified medical practitioner as medically fit to perform the duties of a school crossing guard.

How to apply to become a School Crossing Guard
Contact the 31 Division School Crossing Coordinator at 416-808-3134 and make an appointment to apply. The Toronto Police Service is looking for dedicated adults to work as School Crossing Guards

Stop for Pedestrians crossing crosswalk

 

 

 

 

 

What the Law States about Crossing Guards:

School Crossings (pursuant to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act)

176.  (1)  In this section,

“school crossing guard” means a person sixteen years of age or older who is directing the movement of persons across a highway and who is,

(a) employed by a municipality, or

(b) employed by a corporation under contract with a municipality to provide the services of a school crossing guard. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 176 (1); 2005, c. 14, s. 1 (1).

School Crossing Guard Shall Display Sign

(2)  A school crossing guard about to direct persons across a highway with a speed limit not in excess of 60 kilometres per hour shall, prior to entering the roadway, display a school crossing stop sign in an upright position so that it is visible to vehicles approaching from each direction and shall continue to so display the school crossing stop sign until all persons, including the school crossing guard, have cleared the roadway. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 29 (1).

Vehicles Approaching Guard Displaying Sign

(3)  Where a school crossing guard displays a school crossing stop sign as provided in subsection (2), the driver of any vehicle or street car approaching the school crossing guard shall stop before reaching the crossing and shall remain stopped until all persons, including the school crossing guard, have cleared the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle or street car is travelling and it is safe to proceed. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 29 (1).

Display of School Crossing Stop Sign

(4)  A school crossing guard shall not display on a highway a school crossing stop sign under any circumstances other than those set out in subsection (2). R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 176 (4).

Idem

(5)  No person other than a school crossing guard shall display on a highway a school crossing stop sign. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 176 (5).

Offence

(5.1)  Every person who contravenes subsection (3) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $150 and not more than $500. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 29 (2).

Regulations

(6)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing the type, design and specifications of school crossing stop signs.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 176 (6).

 

Column 1Schedule 43 – Description of Offence under Highway Traffic Act (HTA)Section and subsection of the HTA  Fine upon Conviction (does not include victim fine surcharge or court fee)
508.Guard fail to properly display school crossing stop sign176(2)

$85.00

509.Fail to obey school crossing stop sign176(3)

$150.00

509.1Fail to obey school crossing stop sign community safety zone176(3)

$300.00

510.Improper use of school crossing stop sign176(4)

$85.00

511.Unauthorized person display school crossing stop sign176(5)

$85.00

 

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3 comments

  1. We are paying for a crossing gaurd at marlee and View mount Ave. The guard is never there. He is always talking to people around the school instead of being where he should be, at the crossing section. Talk about wasted money.im sure we can find a better way to spend that money rather than have this guy standing around watching people.

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