needed to write a ticket. In the absence of a police officer, the crossing guard must record the license plate number, write out and swear to a probable cause complaint, and then go to court.
Although crossing guards usually do not have arrest powers, the “STOP” paddle they wield is an official sign under state law. Drivers who fail to obey the STOP paddle can be cited and fined for failure to obey signs, signals or directions (NJSA 39:4-215.) In addition, drivers who fail to obey a STOP paddle can be fined for failing to allow a pedestrian to complete a crossing while within a crosswalk (NJSA 39:4-34.) In August 2007, the minimum fine for failure to comply with a school crossing guard signal to stop was increased to $150 for a first offense. For subsequent offenses, the minimum fine is $300. (N.J.S.A. 39:4-80.1.)
Alexander uses the law to protect herself and the children she crosses. “If someone attempts to hit me or refuses to stop,” says Alexander, “I take out my camera phone or write down their license plate number and call it into dispatch.” She hopes this law will be rigorously enforced by local police departments and that, as a result, crossing guards get the respect and protection they deserve.
In New Jersey’s largest cities, filling crossing guard positions can be