School Traffic Wardens
Every local authority can make arrangements with the Commissioner of an Garda Siochana for the patrolling of places where school children cross public roads. Those who patrol these places are known as School Traffic Wardens. Their role is to ensure that school children cross public roads on their way to/from school safely. In general, School Traffic Wardens only patrol areas where primary school (and not secondary school children) cross public roads. Together with the Gardai (Irish police force), School Traffic Wardens are the only officials in Ireland who have the authority to stop other vehicles on public roads.
The law governing the appointment of School Traffic Wardens is (Section 96) of the Road Traffic Act, 1961. School Traffic Wardens usually work in the mornings, at lunchtime and in the evenings when children are most likely to cross the road to go to/from school.
School Traffic Wardens wear a distinctive uniform (a high-visability coat and hat). Wardens must also carry a distinctive sign (a white disc with a red border and the words "Stop" in the centre).
The School Traffic Warden has the power to exhibit the sign thereby requiring all traffic to stop and remain stopped to enable school children to cross the road in safety. Traffic must remain stopped as long as the Warden exhibits the sign.
Junior Traffic Wardens Scheme
In many places, Junior Traffic Wardens (usually senior pupils of primary schools) operate in teams to provide the same service as the School Traffic Warden. Junior Traffic Wardens operate in teams of six and a signal requesting traffic to stop is given from both sides of the road. After traffic stops, the six Junior Traffic Wardens take up their position and guide younger children across the public road. All vehicles must remain stopped until all the Junior Traffic Wardens have returned to the footpath. To ensure that Junior Traffic Wardens can carry out their function properly, it is vital that they have a clear view of the road. Drivers should never stop or park in positions where they could obstruct the view of Junior Traffic Wardens or School Traffic Wardens.
School Traffic Wardens can only stop vehicles on a public road if they are wearing the appropriate uniform and exhibiting the appropriate sign.
A person who fails to stop a vehicle or animal or keep it stopped in accordance with subsection with Section 96 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961 is guilty of an offence
Before commencing duty as a School Traffic Warden, each Warden must undergo a comprehensive training programme about road safety and their duties, organised through their local authority.
School Traffic Wardens are employees of your local authority. These employees receive remuneration (pay) for their duties and are generally employed on a part-time basis with a maximum number of hours per week. Payment rates are available from the Corporate Services Section (HR Department) of your local authority. In general, if an employee is capable of carrying out their duties satisfactorily, there may be flexibility as to the upper age of employees (i.e., they may be over 65 years).
How to apply
Local authorities routinely advertise for positions such as School Traffic Wardens in their areas. These advertisements are normally carried in your local or national newspapers, parish or community newsletter or on local radio. Further information on upcoming vacancies or requirements for employment as a School Traffic Warden is available directly from your local authority.