History of the AAA School Safety Patrol

AAA started the national school safety patrol program in 1920. Today, the AAA School Safety Patrol is an organization of 550,000 boys and girls nationwide. Many famous Americans have been safety patrollers, including former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Senator John Warner of Virginia, three current members of the U.S. Supreme Court, 21 astronauts and six Olympic gold medalists.

The AAA School Safety Patrol program has a long history of helping young people become leaders by teaching discipline, responsibility, and concern for others.

2006

The AAA School Safety Patrol™ Charles M. Hayes Advancement fund is established at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The fund awards grants to schools wanting to expand upon their patrol programs and honors one AAA School Safety Patrol™ Advisor of the Year award for that best exemplifies model patrol leadership characteristics and contributes to the morale and safety education instilled in their patrollers.

2005

Live webcast of the AAA School Safety Patrol™ awards for the first time ever, patrols, parents and teachers were able to view the award event nationwide. The program garnered 52.5 media impressions through a feature in Reader's Digest, CBS Early Show, Washington Post, NPR, Radio Tour and other efforts.

2002

AAA introduced the National Patroller of the Year Award to recognize the patrollers who best exemplify leadership qualities and perform their duties effectively and responsibly, without incident.

2000

The national pedestrian death rate per 100,000 children ages 5-14 dropped from 3 in 1986 to 0.81. This decrease was due to a strong contribution by AAA School Safety Patrol™ Programs, changes in school zones, traffic engineering, awareness levels, etc.

1986

The national pedestrian death rate per 100,000 children ages 5-14 dropped from 10.4 in 1935 to 3. This decrease was due to a strong contribution by AAA School Safety Patrol™ Programs, changes in school zones, traffic engineering, awareness levels, etc.

1977

James Duncan, a 13-year-old school safety patrol observed a car hitting a guard rail and a school bus before rolling into the street. James quickly assessed that there was not a driver present and that a young child was trapped inside. He raced parallel to the vehicle, opened the door, jumped into the vehicle and applied the brake. The automobile, James and the young child came to a stop inches from a stone wall.

1970

"The School Safety patrol movement...is one of the finest contributions to the safety of our school youngsters that I know of."

Richard J. Daley
Mayor of Chicago

1967

Joint resolution in the House of Representatives to declare the second week of May as school safety patrol week.

1964

12-year-old Tusha Sobek was performing her duties as a School Bus Patrol member when the bus driver passed out. Realizing the danger, Tusha rose from her seat, took a position next to the driver and pressed hard on the brake causing the bus to stop. The driver recovered and was able to safely transport the children home.

1950

Chicago Motor Club celebrates 50 years of saving lives with the schools safety patrol. Over 19,000 lives were saved in Chicago Motor Club's Illinois and Indiana territories alone.

1949

AAA introduced the Lifesaving Award, the highest award given to members of the AAA School Safety Patrol ™ for saving the life of a person in imminent danger while on duty.

1944

"I feel that the members of this organization (School Safety Patrol) are playing a great part in civic work and have been very instrumental in the protection of their schoolmates from the hazards of the highway."

J. Edgar Hoover
Director of the FBI

1933

"The patrol movement is unquestionably a fine builder of morale. It also develops a sense of responsibility which cannot but make for good citizenship. It is my sincere hope that it will continue to expand and remain as a permanent feature of our national effort in the interest of traffic safety."

Franklin D. Roosevelt
President of the United States

1928

AAA resolution makes sponsorship of the school safety patrols official.

1927

AAA School Safety Patrol™ program is sponsored on a national level.

1926

AAA School Safety Patrol begins in Washington, D.C.

1920

Chicago Motor Club launches AAA School Safety Patrol™ movement.