Scholar Patrol Manual

Introduction

Pedestrian fatalities in South Africa amount to approximately 35-40% of the fatalities from road crashes. It is of the utmost importance that road safety initiatives also focus on the child pedestrian and that measures be implemented to make travel to and from our schools safer.

One such measure is Scholar patrol at our schools. Not only does it make crossing roads at our schools safer, but also shares a much wider safety message and alertness to the dangers of moving vehicles in traffic with our young learners.

 

On the Arrive Alive website we have shared many successes of scholar patrol as implemented as part of the Imperial I-Pledge Initiative. In middle 2014 more than 400 schools benefited from this campaign and the training provided by the guys and girls from Active Education.

But what are the procedures to follow for an effective and legal scholar patrol system? We decided to share this in a neatly compiled page with recognition to the Road Safety Authorities from the Western Cape:

Implementation

As laid down in Section 57(5) of the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act 93 of 1996), scholars and students (learners) can be organised into patrols (known as scholar patrols) in order to display a road sign in the prescribed manner (SADCRTSM 11/97, section 2.8) so that the safety of pedestrians crossing a public street or road can be ensured.

It is a function of provinces to support the establishment of scholar patrols where there is a need and where it is demanded by circumstances.

Where needed, and when requested by school principals and/or recommended by traffic authorities, the aid and assistance of the relevant province should be given to assist with the functioning of scholar patrols.

The province / RTMC arranges insurance cover against collisions and claims resulting from events occurring during the legal functioning of scholar patrols.

Equipment and guidelines for the implementation and functioning of scholar patrols is provided by the province / RTMC / traffic authority.

Registration

When a scholar patrol is requested by a school, the traffic authority decides on the position and number of scholar patrol crossings in consultation with the school and provincial road safety component.

The province provides a registration form (SP1) of which sections A and B are completed by the principal, and section C by the traffic authority. The traffic authority then forwards the form to the province for registration onto a computerised database.

After registration copies of the registration form are sent to the traffic authority and the school. These must be safe-guarded for inspection as well as any queries regarding the operation of scholar patrols.

Implementation of a scholar patrol will not take place until training of the whole scholar patrol team has been completed, and the relevant road markings are applied. On confirmation of this having been done, scholar patrol equipment will be issued to the school by the province / traffic authority.

Any changes to a crossing, that is, additions, cancellations and change in location are done by means of the SP1 form.

Organisation

A scholar patrol at a school consists of two teams, which relieve each other on an alternating schedule basis. This is done at the discretion of the responsible educator and can be done daily or weekly.

The members of the patrol are chosen and appointed by the responsible educator.

Before a learner can become a member of a scholar patrol, a letter of consent (SP2) must be completed by the relevant learners’ parent/guardian and this is kept at the school whilst a copy is sent to the traffic department. These documents must be available for inspection by the traffic authority and the province at all times.

Scholar patrol team members must be at least ten (10) years old.

The type of scholar patrol crossing determines the composition, functioning and equipment of the team.

There must be one captain on duty for each team at every crossing.

All the members of the team on duty arrive at the school at a time fixed by the school principal / responsible educator and remain on duty until a time decided by the school principal / responsible educator. In the afternoon they do duty again from before the final bell rings until necessary. At the end of the day, educators must excuse scholar patrol members timeously to enable them to get dressed and be in position before the rest of the school is dismissed for the day. It is compulsory that members must be in Scholar Patrol gear when on duty.

Team Composition, Procedure and Equipment

For each type of scholar patrol crossing there is a particular team composition and procedure which must be observed.

Type A: Single Lane Block Pedestrian Crossing

Fig 1: Type A Crossing

Fig 1: Type A Crossing

1 captain, 1 leader and 3 members

Equipment

TYPE QUANTITY LIFESPAN
Per team    
Caps 5 1 year
Captain 1 1 year
Leader 1 1 year
Members 3 1 year
Whistle 1 1 year
 
Per Crossing    
Jackets    
Captain 1 3 years
Leader 1 3 years
Members 3 3 years
Stop sign poles 2 3 years
Cable ties 4 3 years
Stop sign boards 2 3 years

Positioning of The Team

The team members position themselves as follows at this type of crossing : the captain and two members at the side from which the crossing is done, and the other member, together with the leader, at the opposite side of the street.

Procedure

Once the leader has made sure that there is a big enough gap in the flow of traffic, the members respond as follows to the whistle :

Whistle 1
Stop sign boards are fanned out to stop the traffic, but pedestrians are not yet allowed to cross the road (the pedestrians should be prevented from crossing by a team member on the one side of the street and the leader on the opposite side of the street).
Whistle 2
Once the leader has ensured that the traffic situation is safe, the order for pedestrians to cross can be given.
Whistle 3
Member opposite leader lifts arm to stop pedestrian flow. When crossing is clear, the leader blocks crossing (now empty).
Whistle 4
Close the crossing by swinging the stop sign boards back into position.

Type B: Multi-Lane Block Pedestrian Crossing (Multi-lane road divided by a traffic island with two or more lanes in both directions).

Fig 2: Type B Crossing
Fig 2: Type B Crossing

1 captain, 2 leaders and 6 members

EQUIPMENT

TYPE QUANTITY LIFESPAN
Per team    
Caps 9 1 year
Captain 1 1 year
Leader 2 1 year
Members 6 1 year
Whistle 2 1 year
 
Per Crossing    
Jackets    
Captain 1 3 years
Leader 2 3 years
Members 6 3 years
Stop sign poles 4 3 years
Cable ties 8 3 years
Stop sign boards 4 3 years

POSITIONING OF THE TEAMS

The teams take up position as follows for this type of crossing:

Team 01:
The captain and two members on the side from which the crossing is to be made (sidewalk) and one member and the leader on the island (facing oncoming pedestrians).
Team 02:
Two members on the island, and one member and the second leader on the sidewalk, towards which the crossing is being made.

PROCEDURE

Where the island is wide enough to accommodate the pedestrians safely, they should cross the double road in two phases. (Phase 1 : from the sidewalk to the island, Phase 2: from the island to the other sidewalk). The two leaders function independently from each other. Where the island is narrow, the leader on the sidewalk controls the crossing. The pedestrians therefore cross the double road in one phase. Only one captain is on duty.

Whistle 1:
Stop sign boards are fanned out to stop the traffic, but pedestrians are not yet allowed to cross the road (the pedestrians should be prevented from crossing by a team member on the one side of the street and the leader on the opposite side of the street).
Whistle 2:
Once the leader has ensured that the traffic situation is safe, the order for pedestrians to cross can be given.
Whistle 3:
Member opposite leader lifts arm to stop pedestrian flow. When crossing is clear, the leader blocks crossing (now empty).
Whistle 4:
Close the crossing by swinging the stop sign boards back into position.

4.3 Type C: Traffic Light Controlled Pedestrian Crossing

Fig 3: Type C Crossing

Fig 3: Type C Crossing

1 captain, 1 leader and 1 member

Equipment

TYPE QUANTITY LIFESPAN
Per team    
Caps 3 1 year
Captain 1 1 year
Leader 1 1 year
Members 1 1 year
 
Per Crossing    
Jackets    
Captain 1 3 years
Leader 1 3 years
Members 1 3 years

Positioning of The Team

The captain and team member take up position on the side from which pedestrians wish to cross and the leader takes up position on the opposite side.

Procedure

In some cases the leader will actually control the phases of the traffic light through the use of a key. In most cases the leader will activate a time-delay button on the pole.

The pedestrians are prevented from crossing by the team member on the one side of the street and the leader on the opposite side of the street.

Once the leader has ensured that the traffic situation is safe, the order for pedestrians to cross can be given.

The member opposite the leader lifts an arm to stop pedestrian flow. This is done in time with the changing of the pedestrian light. When crossing is clear, leader blocks crossing (now empty).

The team sees to it that the pedestrians only use the crossing when the traffic light is in their favour (no stop boards are used).

4.4 Type D: Intersection Controlled by Traffic Lights or Stop

Fig 4: Type D Crossing

Fig 4: Type D Crossing

1 captain, 1 leader and 1 member

Signs

(One street crossing)

Equipment

TYPE QUANTITY LIFESPAN
Per team    
Caps 3 1 year
Captain 1 1 year
Leader 1 1 year
Members 1 1 year
 
Per Crossing    
Jackets    
Captain 1 3 years
Leader 1 3 years
Members 1 3 years

Positioning of The Teams

The member takes up position on the side of the street from which the pedestrians wish to cross. The leader takes up position on the opposite side. The captain is free to roam and offer assistance as needed.

Procedure

The team sees to it that the pedestrians only enter the crossing when the traffic light is in their favour. In the case of a crossing regulated by stop signs, the traffic situation should be of such a nature that the crossing could be attempted safely.

The pedestrians are prevented from crossing by the team member on the one side of the street and the leader on the opposite side of the street.

Once the leader has ensured that the traffic situation is safe, the order for pedestrians to cross can be given.

The member opposite the leader lifts an arm to stop pedestrian flow. This is done in time with the changing of the pedestrian light. When crossing is clear, leader blocks crossing (now empty).

The team sees to it that the pedestrians only use the crossing when it is safe to do so (no stop boards are to be used).

4.5 Type E: Intersection Controlled by Traffic Lights or Stop

Fig 5: Type E Crossing

Fig 5: Type E Crossing

1 captain, 1 leader and 2 members

Signs

(Two adjacent crossings)

Equipment

TYPE QUANTITY LIFESPAN
Per team    
Caps 4 1 year
Captain 1 1 year
Leader 1 1 year
Members 2 1 year
 
Per Crossing    
Jackets    
Captain 1 3 years
Leader 1 3 years
Members 2 3 years

Positioning of The Teams

The leader at all times assumes a position on the street corner nearest the school, while the members man the opposite street corners. The Captain is free to roam and assist the members where necessary.

Procedure

The team sees to it that the pedestrians only enter the crossing when the traffic light is in their favour. In the case of a crossing regulated by stop signs, the traffic situation should be of such a nature that the crossing could be attempted safely.

The pedestrians are prevented from crossing by the team member on the one side of the street and the leader on the opposite side of the street.

Once the leader has ensured that the traffic situation is safe, the order for pedestrians to cross can be given.

The member opposite the leader lifts an arm to stop pedestrian flow. This is done in time with the changing of the pedestrian light. When crossing is clear, leader blocks crossing (now empty).

The team sees to it that the pedestrians only use the crossing when it is safe to do so (no stop boards are to be used).

4.6 Type F: Intersection Controlled by Traffic Lights or Stop

Fig 6: F Type Crossing

Fig 6: F Type Crossing

1 captain, 2 leaders and 2 members

Signs

(Two non-adjacent, three or four crossings)

Equipment

TYPE QUANTITY LIFESPAN
Per team    
Caps 5 1 year
Captain 1 1 year
Leader 2 1 year
Members 2 1 year
 
Per Crossing    
Jackets    
Captain 1 3 years
Leader 2 3 years
Members 2 3 years

Positioning of The Teams

Each of the four street corners should be manned by either the leader or a member depending on circumstances. Leaders must always face oncoming pedestrians. The captain is free to roam and offer assistance where necessary.

Procedure

The team sees to it that the pedestrians only enter the crossing when the traffic light is in their favour. In the case of a crossing regulated by stop signs, the traffic situation should be of such a nature that the crossing could be attempted safely.

The pedestrians are prevented from crossing by the team member on the one side of the street and the leader on the opposite side of the street.

Once the leader has ensured that the traffic situation is safe, the order for pedestrians to cross can be given.

The member opposite the leader lifts an arm to stop pedestrian flow. This is done in time with the changing of the pedestrian light. When crossing is clear, leader blocks crossing (now empty).

The team sees to it that the pedestrians only use the crossing when it is safe to do so (no stop boards are to be used).

4.7 Type G: Open Crossing (non surfaced roads, provincial and rural roads where engineering infrastructure is absent and surfaced roads where speeds are in excess of 80 km/h).

Fig 7: G Type Crossing

Fig 7: G Type Crossing

1 captain, 1 leader and 3 members

Equipment

TYPE QUANTITY LIFESPAN
Per team    
Caps 5 1 year
Captain 1 1 year
Leader 1 1 year
Members 3 1 year
Whistle 1  
 
Per Crossing    
Jackets    
Captain 1 3 years
Leader 1 3 years
Members 3 3 years
Signs 2 3 years

Positioning of The Teams

The team members position themselves as follows at this type of crossing : the captain and two members at the side from which the crossing is done, and the other member, together with the leader, at the opposite side of the street.

Procedure

Pedestrians are prevented from crossing by the team members on the one side of the street and the leader and member on the opposite side of the street. Once the leader has made sure that there is a big enough gap in the flow of traffic, the members respond as follows to the whistle of the leader:

Whistle 1:
Once the leader has ensured that the traffic situation is safe, the order for pedestrians to cross can be given. Members drop their arms and pedestrians cross.
Whistle 2:
Members opposite leader lift their arms to stop pedestrian flow. When crossing is clear, leader and member block crossing (now empty).

Pupils must be taught to cross the road between the scholar patrol members only.

Special training must be given to scholar patrol members especially the leader with regard to depth perception.

4.8 Type H: Multi-Lane Crossing (No island or space between lanes)

Fig 8: TYPE H CROSSING(MULTI LANE)

Fig 8: TYPE H CROSSING(MULTI LANE)

1 captain, 1 leader and 3 members

Equipment

TYPE QUANTITY LIFESPAN
Per team    
Caps 5 1 year
Captain 1 1 year
Leader 1 1 year
Members 3 1 year
Whistle 1  
 
Per Crossing    
Jackets    
Captain 1 3 years
Leader 1 3 years
Members 3 3 years
Stop sign poles 2 3 years
Hooks 4 3 years
Stop sign boards 2 3 years

Positioning of The Teams

The team members position themselves as follows at this type of crossing : the captain and two members at the side from which the crossing is done, and the other member, together with the leader, at the opposite side of the street.

Procedure

Once the leader has made sure that there is a big enough gap in the flow of traffic, the members respond as follows to the whistle:

Whistle 1:
Stop sign boards are fanned out to stop the traffic, but pedestrians are not yet allowed to cross the road (the pedestrians should be prevented from crossing by a team member on the one side of the street and the leader on the opposite side of the street).
Whistle 2:
Once the leader has ensured that the traffic situation is safe, the order for pedestrians to cross can be given.
Whistle 3:
Member opposite leader lifts arm to stop pedestrian flow. When crossing is clear, leader blocks crossing (now empty).
Whistle 4:
Close the crossing by swinging the stop sign boards back into position.

Conditions of Use For Scholar Patrols

A scholar patrol may only operate at a registered crossing.

Should there not be a kerbstone or if the road is exceptionally wide at the pedestrian crossing, the members should either stand on the shoulder of the road or as indicated by the traffic authority. Where-ever possible the kerbstone must be used. Scholar patrol members may not stand on the road surface at any stage.

Members may under no circumstances move into the street to stop the traffic or to regulate it. At type A, B and H crossings the members of the patrol should only exhibit the stop sign boards horizontally with a movement of the body and arms, so that approaching drivers can see them clearly and stop in time.

Schools are held responsible for the proper supervision, storage and maintenance of the scholar patrol equipment. Should schools not comply with this requirement, their scholar patrols will be withdrawn.

Adult supervision is compulsory and an absolute essential at all crossings.

Performance on gravel roads is permissible if the following are complied with :

  • vision / line of sight in both directions has to be good (not at blind rises, corners, dense bush / trees / buildings next to road, etc);
  • members may not stand on the road surface;
  • the local road safety component of the province should visit the crossing and ensure that the crossing complies with the prescribed safety requirements (the position of the crossings should be determined in conjunction with the applicable traffic authorities and the school);
  • such a crossing would be registered as a Type G (Open Crossing).

Performance on provincial and national roads is permissible as long as the following conditions have been complied with :

  • the position of the crossing should be determined in conjunction with the traffic authority, the school and the province (emphasis must be placed on adequate visibility);
  • the members of the scholar patrol as well as the learners should be trained with regard to the use of the crossing;
  • controlled groups of children may cross the road per opportunity (once a group of children has crossed, the situation has to be re-evaluated for safety before the next group should be allowed to cross);
  • such a crossing would be registered as a Type G (Open Crossing).

Action at stop signs and / or traffic light controlled crossings in urban, rural and remote areas:

  • scholar patrols may not use stop sign boards at controlled crossings. A stop board operating scholar patrol may operate near to a controlled crossing only if no other solution is obtainable, but preferably to a minimum of 50 metres away from the controlled crossing;
  • scholar patrol crossings do not have the purpose of serving as a solution for traffic offences (for example, motorists who do not stop at stop streets or yield to pedestrians);
  • the function of the scholar patrol at a crossing is only to regulate and control pedestrians.

Certificates

Certificates are issued by the province to all members who have served on a scholar patrol on recommendation of the principal, at the discretion of the local road safety scholar patrol project manager.

Duties

The duties of all those involved in the institution and functioning of a scholar patrol are as follows:

School The school is responsible for the efficient establishment and functioning of a scholar patrol in conjunction with the Governing Body of the school. Should it not be possible for the principal to exert direct control over this, the responsibility should be delegated to a suitable educator.

The principal and/or responsible educator should:

  • in conjunction with the applicable traffic authority and the relevant provincial authority, determine the need for pedestrian crossings at streets adjacent to the school premises;
  • fill in section A and B of the SP1 application form and forward the completed form to the traffic authority;
  • control and regulate matters pertaining to the scholar patrol, such as composition, equipment and functioning in conjunction with the local traffic authority and the province;
  • see to it that the parents of scholar patrol team members have completed the letter of consent (SP2) and keep these safe at the school with a copy having been sent to the traffic authority;
  • respond to complaints and requests of scholar patrol members;
  • exert control over all equipment and supervise, at all times, the functioning of the scholar patrol;
  • arrange for the training of scholar patrol members;
  • inform all learners about the correct use of scholar patrol crossings;
  • should a collision occur, report this to the police and the traffic authority and follow up with a written report.

Captain

Each scholar patrol has a captain who is responsible for the overall operation of the team. The captain’s duties are as follows :

  • reports directly to the principal or the supervising educator;
  • compiles the team correctly and sees to it that they act in accordance with regulations;
  • completes the register before every duty;
  • inspects the team prior to every duty to ensure that they are dressed according to regulations and that they have all the necessary equipment;
  • is responsible for ensuring that the teams place the pre-warning signs correctly (if applicable);
  • is responsible for reporting to the principal or the responsible educator should the road signs become unclear or damaged;
  • is responsible for seeing to it that the team stands either BEHIND the kerbstone or on the shoulder of the road, as indicated by the traffic authority;
  • sees to it that the leader and the team members do their work correctly and in accordance with regulations;
  • sees to it that the equipment is stored and maintained correctly;
  • maintains discipline at all times;
  • keeps a notebook to note down irregularities and reports these to the responsible educator after duty;
  • assists teams to control pedestrians where needed;
  • sees to it that the traffic flow is not unnecessarily impeded.

Leader

Each crossing has a leader who is responsible for the operation of the crossing. The duties of the leader are as follows :

  • assumes position on the side of the street towards which the pedestrians walk (ie. always faces the pedestrians);
  • acts as the captain’s right hand person and at all times supervises the team operating the crossing;
  • controls the opening and closing of the crossing, as well as the pedestrians using the crossing, by using a whistle (Types A, B, G and H);
  • controls the flow of pedestrians through the crossing at all times;
  • ensures that the traffic flow is not unnecessarily impeded.

Members

Each crossing is manned by a number of members as prescribed under the different kinds of crossings. Duties of the members are :

At types A, B and H crossings:

  • place and remove the pre-warning signs (if applicable);
  • use the poles and the stop sign boards on the instructions of the leader.

At all other types of crossings:

  • control and regulate the pedestrians without applying traffic control;
  • assist the captain in noting down traffic violations.

Traffic Authority

The traffic authority, in conjunction with the relevant school and the local branch of road safety, decides on the establishment of scholar patrols. This also includes the positioning of pedestrian crossings other than those at traffic lights. The duties of the traffic authority are as follows:

  • completion of section C of the SP1 registration form and forwarding of the form to the province;
  • recommendation that a scholar patrol be instituted where justified, and submission of the application to the province;
  • assistance with the training of teams and adult supervisors;
  • regular inspection to ensure that the patrols function correctly and that all regulations pertaining to the Road Traffic Act are complied with;
  • supplying of the necessary pre-warning signs and ensuring that these are used correctly and meet all the requirements of the Road Traffic Act;
  • indication of the places where temporary pre-warning signs have to be placed should these be used;
  • ensuring that the crossings are marked properly and in accordance with prescriptions;
  • recommendation that kerbstones be placed or that safety zones be erected / marked at each crossing;
  • assistance with the delivery of the required equipment as supplied by the province to the schools;
  • handling of all representations or complaints with regard to the implementation and functioning of scholar patrols before they are referred to the province;
  • reporting to the province on any collision in which scholar patrol members might be involved whilst they were on duty;
  • ensuring that vehicles are not parked in such a way that they impede visibility and endanger members of the scholar patrol;
  • resumption of traffic control when the traffic becomes so dense that it becomes dangerous for the scholar patrols to operate.

The Province (Local Road Safety component)

  • The duties of the province with regard to scholar patrols involves the following :
  • determining the need for a scholar patrol applied for in conjunction with the traffic authority;
  • registration of the school and crossing(s); • ensuring that the application form (SP1) has been correctly completed by all the relevant parties;
  • distributing copies of the registration of the school and crossing(s) to the school and the traffic authority;
  • dealing with all queries or requests from schools and authorities;
  • training of traffic officers and/or educators;
  • supplying of all scholar patrol equipment to the relevant schools and new patrols through the traffic authority;
  • regular inspection of all schools and crossings to determine whether scholar patrols are operating in accordance with regulations;
  • maintenance of up-to-date records of all registered schools and crossings.

Adult Supervision

  • supervises the scholar patrol crossing at all times whilst in operation;
  • notes any irregularities in the way the scholar patrol operates and reports these to the responsible educator;
  • furnishes information for legal purposes should a claim arise due to the actions of the scholar patrol;
  • furnishes information to the traffic authority should vehicles ignore the scholar patrol;
  • sees to it that the captain performs according to the prescribed duties.

Parents / Guardians

The parents/guardians of prospective patrol members should

  • complete and sign the parent consent letter (SP2) and return it to the school before the learner is allowed to participate;
  • support the school by seeing to it that the learner fulfils his/her task as a scholar patrol member responsibly and faithfully.

Insurance Cover

The province / RTMC has Public Liability and Personal Accident Cover. The Public Liability Policy provides indemnity for any legal liability which may arise following accidental death, bodily injury or illness of third parties or the accidental loss of or physical damage to tangible third party property which occurs within the territorial limits during the period of insurance, and which results from the activities of scholar patrols or their supervisors.

The insurance is only valid when the patrols function in accordance with the regulations as laid down, in approved crossings directly before or after school on official school days.

The Personal Accident policy provides compensation for death or permanent disability following accidental bodily injury leading to death or permanent disability of members of the scholar patrol team and its supervisors which occurs within the boundaries during the period of insurance, and which results from the activities of scholar patrols or their supervisors whilst operating a scholar patrol crossing or involved in any related activity (e.g. training).

Details of policies and cover can be obtained from the provincial road safety component. 25

Insurance Claims Procedure

The process in claiming from the respective provincial insurances may differ slightly, but generally the following procedure will apply:

Documentation

  • copy of the parent letter(s) of consent (SP2) of the relevant scholar patrol member(s);
  • copy of the registration form (SP1);
  • report from the school;
  • traffic authority and police report;
  • completed claim form (will differ depending on insurance company);
  • medical report on all injuries sustained;
  • proof of all expenses regarding the collision (invoices/receipts).

Insurance

  • the insurance provided by the province / RTMC only covers scholar patrol teams (captains, leaders and members), adult supervisors of scholar patrol teams whilst on active scholar patrol duty (ie operation of scholar patrol crossings, and any other scholar patrol activity);
  • scholar patrols must operate as indicated in the scholar patrol manual;
  • all relevant signage must be used;
  • scholar patrols (and their supervisors) may at no time operate on the road surface nor undertake traffic control (in terms of point duty as performed by traffic officers);
  • scholar patrols must wear the correct uniform and be under trained adult supervision at all times.

Summary of The Actions of Scholar Patrols

With a view to uniform action, the actions of all scholar patrols countrywide can be summed up as follows :

  • the team(s) on duty report(s) at a time as determined by the responsible educator / principal before school starts;
  • equipment is handed out;
  • teams are inspected regarding neatness, correct uniform and equipment;
  • attendance register is taken;
  • the captain passes on any special instructions to the leaders;
  • the teams move to the relevant duty points (crossings);
  • where applicable, pre-warning signs are put in place;
  • leaders set up their teams at the crossings;
  • in the afternoons the teams remain on duty until a time decided on by the responsible educator / principal;
  • leaders withdraw the teams (move teams and pre-warning signs);
  • equipment is checked and locked away after each duty tour;
  • leaders report any incidents and necessary information to the captain (eg. equipment breakage, vehicle problems, bad pedestrian behaviour);
  • the teams dismiss;
  • the captain reports to the responsible educator.

National Road Traffic Act (Act 93 of 1996)

The following excerpts from the National Road Traffic Act, Act 93 of 1996, deal with the implementation of Scholar Patrols, and the issues surrounding them. The information given is deemed as being supportive in the task of the traffic officer and road safety officer.

Authorisation of Scholar Patrols CHAPTER IX Road traffic signs

Minister may prescribe road traffic signs

56 (1) The Minister may, subject to this Act and for the purpose of prohibiting, limiting, regulating or controlling traffic in general or any particular class of traffic on a public road or a section thereof or for the purpose of designating any public road or a section thereof as a public road of a particular class, prescribe such signs, signals, markings or other devices (to be known as road traffic signs) as he or she may deem expedient, as well as their significance and the conditions on, and circumstances under, which any road traffic sign may be displayed on a public road.

(2) The Minister may, subject to such conditions as he or she may deem expedient, authorise any person or body to display on a public road any sign, signal, marking or other device for the purpose of ascertaining the suitability of such sign, signal or device as a road traffic sign. 

Authority to display road traffic signs

57 (1) The Minister, or any person authorised thereto by him or her generally or specifically, may in respect of any public road cause or permit to be displayed in the prescribed manner such road traffic signs as he or she may deem expedient.

(2) The MEC concerned, or any person authorised thereto by him or her either generally or specifically, may in respect of any public road not situated within the area of jurisdiction of a local authority, cause or permit to be displayed in the prescribed manner any such road traffic signs as he or she may deem expedient.

(3) (a) A local authority, or any person in its employment authorised thereto by it either generally or specifically, may in respect of any public road within the jurisdiction of that local authority display or cause to be displayed in the prescribed manner any such road traffic signs as such authority or person may deem expedient.

(b) A local authority may in writing authorise any other person or body to display or cause to be displayed within its area of jurisdiction and in the prescribed manner any road traffic sign approved by it prior to the display of such sign.

(c) A local authority referred to in paragraph (b) may determine the conditions for such display and may order the removal of such sign.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (2) and (3), the MEC concerned, or any person authorised thereto by him or her either generally or specifically, may in respect of any public road referred to in subsection (3) and which is a road constructed or maintained by the Administration of the province concerned, in addition to the road traffic signs referred to in subsection (3), cause or permit to be displayed in the prescribed manner such road traffic signs as he or she may deem expedient, and no local authority may without the consent of that MEC remove or permit to be removed any such road traffic sign.

(5) In such circumstances and subject to such conditions as the MEC concerned may determine , scholars or students may be organised into patrols (to be known as scholar patrols) for the purpose of displaying, in the prescribed manner, an appropriate road traffic sign so as to ensure the safety of scholars or students crossing a public road.

(6) The MEC concerned may authorise any association or club to display any such road signs as he or she may deem expedient, subject to such conditions as the MEC may determine, on any public road referred to in subsection (2) or (3), and any such association or club may thereupon, in the prescribed manner, display a badge or other token of the association or club in conjunction with any such road traffic sign.

(7) Any road traffic sign displayed in terms of a repealed ordinance or Road Traffic Act, 1989 (Act No. 29 of 1989), shall be deemed to be displayed in terms of this chapter.

Failure to obey road traffic sign prohibited

58 (1) Subject to subsection (3), no person shall, unless otherwise directed by a traffic officer, fail to comply with any direction conveyed by a road traffic sign displayed in the prescribed manner.

(2) In any prosecution for a contravention of or failure to comply with a provision of subsection (1), it shall be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the road sign concerned was displayed by the proper authority under the power conferred by this Act and in accordance with its provisions.

Road signs

The following are excerpts from the South African Road Traffic Signs Manual (SADCRTSM 11/97) as prescribed by National Road Traffic Act, Act 93 of 1996.

Scholar Patrol Stop Sign R1.1

Sign R1.1 may be displayed by a temporary Scholar Patrol. Such signs should be 450mm wide and should be manufactured from a light-weight material and in a back-to-back or double sided manner, when used in two-way streets, so that sign R1.1 is displayed in both directions by each scholar operating a Scholar Patrol (subsection 2.2.1).

A Scholar Patrol shall include a scholar operating R1.1 signs on each side of the roadway. A STOP regulatory sign R1.1 displayed by a member of a Scholar Patrol imposes a mandatory requirement that the driver of a vehicle stop such vehicle in front of such sign or immediately behind a YIELD line marking RTM2 in conjunction with which the sign is used, and remain stationary until the sign is no longer displayed.

Where advance visibility of a stop sign R1 or any of its derivatives is inadequate and stop control may be unexpected, the use of temporary warning signs must be applied.

The distance displayed should take into account the stopping distance requirements of approaching vehicles and the likely existence of traffic queues at the stop sign. Minimum stopping sight distances are given in Table 1.

Scholar Patrol Ahead TW305

The SCHOLAR PATROL AHEAD warning sign shall only be used as a temporary warning sign T W30 5 and is to warn road users that a temporary Scholar Patrol is operating ahead. The Scholar Patrol crossing shall be properly marked in accordance with provisions of chapter 7 of the SADCRTSM.

Sign TW305 should be a temporary portable sign and should be displayed only for the period during which the Scholar Patrol is in operation. The reverse side shall be marked with alternating black and yellow horizontal stripes 150mm wide (subsection 2.1.10). These signs should be displayed in the centre of a two-way roadway or on the left side of the median island of a dual roadway and should be of the size given in Table 2. It is recommended that, when the signs are mounted in a sunken socket in the roadway, that where possible this and the signpost be of a square section to prevent the swivelling of the sign due to wind. These signs should where possible be located at least 60m ahead of the crossing.

Pedestrian crossings subject to part-time control by Scholar Patrols should be preceded by Permanent PEDESTRIAN CROSSING warning signs W306 and CHILDREN warning signs W308. A pedestrian crossing controlled by a traffic signal should be preceded by a TRAFFIC SIGNALS AHEAD warning sign W301. These signs should where possible be located at least 90m ahead of the crossing. In rural areas Table 2 is applicable.

Pedestrian Crossing W306

The PEDESTRIAN CROSSING warning sign W306 is to warn road users of a marked pedestrian crossing ahead.

Sign W306 should, where possible, be displayed not less than 90m or more than 180m in advance of any block-marked pedestrian crossing. In addition, if the block marked crossing is primarily for school children a CHILDREN warning sign W308 should be placed a suitable distance in advance of sign W306.

Children W308

The CHILDREN warning sign W308 is to warn road users of the possible presence of children near schools, playgrounds, sports fields or other places ahead.

Sign W308 should, where possible, be displayed not less than 90m or more than 180m in advance of a point or area where children may be expected. The CHILDREN warning sign may be appropriate some distance from a school particularly if a system of safe routes to the school has been established for children.

Yield to Pedestrians R2.1

The YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS sign R2.1 places a mandatory requirement on drivers of vehicles approaching the sign that they shall yield right of way to pedestrians crossing the public road or wanting to cross the public road.

Sign R2.1 should, where possible, be displayed between 3m and 6m in advance of a pedestrian crossing marking.

Table 1

MINIMUM STOPPING SIGHT DISTANCE
Effective approach speed (km/h) Minimum sight distance required (m)
50 70
60 95
70 125
80 150
85 165

Unless indicated otherwise in the descriptive sections on the individual signs, advance warning signs should be displayed at the distance from the hazard given in the table below.

In the event that inadequate sight distance exists to the warning sign when located in accordance with table 1, the warning sign shall be moved further from the hazard until clear visibility distance is realised.

When a warning sign is located 300m or more from the hazard, the use of a distance supplementary plate is recommended.

Table 2

ADVANCE WARNING SIGN LOCATION AND SIZE
Operating speed (km/h) Location distance from hazard (m) Recommended size (mm)
120 330 1500
100 240 1500
80 160 1200
60 120 900

Road markings

Stop line markings RTM 1 shall not be used at a scholar patrol crossing (subsection 7.2.1).

Yield line markings RTM 2 shall be used at any location, which is not controlled normally by a traffic signal,

where regular but short term point duty is performed by a traffic officer or a scholar patrol (subsections 7.2.1, 7.2.3 and 7.2.4)

Pedestrian guide line markings GM2 should be used at a G Type crossing and where informal crossings are instituted (subsection 7.2.3 and 7.4.2).

For further details regarding lengths and distances, see subsection 7.2.2 and volume 4 of the SADCRTSM.

Block pedestrian crossing markings RTM 4 shall be used for scholar patrol crossings, apart and in conjunction with pedestrian crossing ahead lines RM 11 (subsection 7.2.15). Details are contained in Volume 2, section 14.3.4 and Volume 4 of the SADCRTSM.

Uniform

The uniform worn by a scholar patrol may differ from province to province, but it is important to note that some form of uniform which will positively identify learners as being part of a scholar patrol is compulsory. This can be made up of full jackets (as worn by traffic officers), bibs (as presently worn by scholar patrols) or diagonal and horizontal bands and accompanying headgear and raincoats.

Jackets, caps and rain coats.

Markings:
There will have to be some identification as to the province or road safety component so as to ensure legality and credibility in the eyes of the general public.

The various jackets for the captain leader and member should also have distinguishable markings applicable to their functions.

There is no problem in having sponsor logos as part of the uniform, as long as these do not detract from the image and purpose of the uniform itself.
 
Colour:
This should be highly visible (eg. day-glow, bright or luminous colours). It is important that all members of scholar patrol teams in the province wear the same colour and style of uniform. This will make the general public aware of who they are, what they do and where they can be expected.
 
Reflectivity:
It is highly desirable that some part of the jacket is reflective, whether by strips, lettering or parts of the jacket being made from reflective materials.

Note:

Jackets:

Totally reflective material is not necessary nor is it compulsory.

Headgear:

Whilst highly desirable, this is not compulsory. Caps (or hats) do make for better visibility for both motorists and pedestrians, and afford scholar patrol team members protection from rain and sun.

Once again, sponsor logos are permissible (with due regard to image as stated above under markings).

Badges:

These are determined by provinces in design, issue and differentiation.

Equipment

Whistles:

These should be able to withstand rough handling and be of the type that will be heard over vehicle and pedestrian noise.

Stop boards:

These are governed in size, colour and makeup by the Road Traffic Act as detailed elsewhere in this manual.

Poles:

These are generally two metres in length and are painted or covered in a highly visible colour (yellow, lime green or orange). Holes can be made at one end for the attachment of the stop boards.

Certificates:

Certificates follow a design and content as specified by the province.

Glossary

Province
the administrative and political division of the Republic of South Africa as determined by the Constitution, which is responsible for the provision and administration of the transport, traffic and safety and security departments under various MEC.
Traffic authority
the traffic policing body under whose jurisdiction the scholar patrol crossing would fall, whether of a provincial, local or municipal nature. Principal - the person so appointed by the provincial department of education to be in charge of a specific school.
Responsible educator
the person appointed by the principal to administer, manage and control the operation and implementation of scholar patrols at a specific school.
Captain
a learner who is in charge of a scholar patrol crossing team made up of leaders and members. It is preferable that a captain will be older than the other team members and will have served on scholar patrol teams in the past
Leader
a learner who is in charge of the members manning a crossing. A leader should have served as a member in the past.
Member
learners who man crossings under the direction of a leader.
Scholar Patrol team
the complete team who man a crossing, including the captain, and all the leader(s) and member(s) as well as the adult supervisor.
Adult supervisor
an adult person (person older than eighteen (18) years of age) who supervises the scholar patrol team in action. This involves checking that the correct procedures are followed and supplying assistance where necessary, especially with regard to crowd control or collision details.

Adult supervisors may be students (eg. university / technikon, etc), retired persons, parents, educators, administrative or maintenance staff of the school, traffic officers, or any other adult. Whilst engaged in supervising the scholar patrol, they are covered by insurance.

Also View:

Scholar Patrol and Road Safety

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