While reading through the comments on a Facebook Post in Provo Forward, Susie Slattery Record told me about a Wasatch Elementary crossing guard who decks himself out in fully-metallic clothing to be as visible as possible to drivers. He sounded like a character that I had to meet.
I found him at about 3:15pm on Monday, May 13 on the corner of 900 E and Birch Lane/Heritage Drive setting out his traffic cones to get ready for his shift.
Robert’s crosswalk outfit includes a sequinned superman trucker cap, a metallic silver long-sleeve shirt, a silver chain, orange visibility vest, bright white pants with gold and silver sequins, and bright white sneakers with all sorts of colors on them. If that doesn’t catch drivers’ attention, there is no hope left in this world.
Robert told me he is from Nigeria and works both as a security guard and a crosswalk guard. This is his favorite of the two because he loves interacting with the kids and helping them get safely across the wide and high-speed 900 East. He does such a good job that parents who drive their children to school regularly drop their kids off in the parking lots near his intersection so he can help them safely cross the street.
Though it is a tough job being a crossing guard–there have been incidents of Provo crossing guards being hit by careless drivers–Robert says about 95% of drivers he deals with are kind and do slow down. Of course, we hope for a city where street design would slow drivers down so crossing guards don’t have to put themselves at risk, but until then we have everyday heroes like Robert.
Thank you Robert for all you do to keep Provo children safe!