A school patrol is a team of senior primary and intermediate age children who have been trained by the Police to operate the swing out stop signs at pedestrian crossing points, commonly called zebra and kea crossings, before and after school.

School patrolSchool patrols and kea crossings (a type of school patrol) are crossing points designed for use outside or near schools during periods of high road crossing activity at school start and finish times. 

School patrol signs and, if applicable, kea crossing flags are put in place during these times. After the school patrol or kea crossing operation is finished all removable signage must be withdrawn so that maximum impact can be retained during the actual operation. The road then reverts to being a standard zebra crossing or, in the case of a kea crossing, reverts to the normal road conditions. Kerb extensions and/or central islands may exist to offer a greater degree of safety for those wishing to cross at times when the school patrol is not active.

What is the difference between kea crossings and school patrols with zebra crossings?

Kea crossingSchool patrols are similar to kea crossings; the major difference between them is that school patrols have zebra crossings whereas kea crossings do not.

At a kea crossing point there are vehicle hold lines on both approaches that show motorists where they should stop. To alert approaching drivers to the kea crossing, two removable fluorescent orange flag signs are provided on both approaches.

At a school patrol there is a zebra crossing with swing-out signs and limit lines.

Kea crossings are used in areas where crossing activity usually occurs only before and after school, and school patrols with zebra crossings are used in areas where crossing activity may occur at all times.

How do I request a school patrol?

You must go through your school in the first instance, for example the Principal or Board of Trustee member. They will contact the Council or the NZ Transport Agency who will investigate the suitability of establishing a school patrol.

A survey is undertaken to determine whether during a 30 minute period before and after school, a minimum of 50 pedestrians cross the road and a minimum of 100 vehicles drive down the road. School patrols are not installed on roads with a posted speed limit above 50km/h.

The engineering of the road must be deemed suitable for a school patrol. The school must make a commitment to supervise the crossing before and after school every day and the Police must feel that it is appropriate to have a school patrol there and be prepared to train the children to operate it.

Operation of crossing

The Council or the NZ Transport Agency(external link) is responsible for the provision and maintenance of the school crossing facility.

To request a school patrol for your school, or to request maintenance for an existing school patrol, you need to contact the Council. If the patrol is on a State Highway you will need to contact the NZ Transport Agency.

Drivers, give school patrols a break

School patrols are finding it hard to get a break in the traffic. The law requires motorists to stop even if only one sign is extended regardless of which side of the roadway it is on. Slow down, keep back from the vehicle ahead and be prepared to stop as you approach school crossing points.