Articles / Pedestrian safety

Cross Safe Flag program raises flags

By Aviva Canada on

Davisville Village parents in Toronto rallied together and launched a new Cross Safe Flag Program. The goal? To make kids more visible to drivers while they’re crossing the street.

Davisville Village residents enjoy a walkable neighbourhood - located near two major subway stations, and with many schools in the area. However, parents of students at Maurice Cody Public School have raised concerns that nearby construction on the Eglinton Crosstown Line has resulted in increased traffic in their neighbourhood. This increased traffic, compounded by a lack of crossing guards, has resulted in the community coming together to create an alternative and innovative safe crossing option for their children. Their idea, which was implemented by the Safety Committee, was inspired by a nearby school, in which a group of Grade 5 students initiated a Cross Safe program.

“Drivers are always in a rush; running stop signs and making dangerous turns. We just wanted to make our children as visible as possible to these drivers and the big bright orange flags are helping to make our roads safer.” Farnaz Kiervin, co-chair of the Safety Committee, Maurice Cody Public School.

How does the ‘Cross Safe’ Program work?

At each corner of the intersection, canisters with bright orange flags are attached to streetlight poles. When crossing, pedestrians:

  1. Take one flag

  2. Look both ways

  3. Maintain eye contact with the driver

  4. Cross street with flag held up in the air

  5. Place flag in the canister at the other side of the street

The Committee held in-school presentations to teach children how to use the flags properly and cross safely, as well as encouraged parents to discuss road safety with their children. The Cross Safe initiative has expanded to five intersections near the school.

Building a network.

The program has been hugely successful, with students proudly holding out flags as they cross intersections safely.
Since implementing the Cross Safe program in Davisville Village, neighbouring communities have expressed interest in starting their own Cross Safe programs. Intersection by intersection, the Cross Safe network is growing, allowing pedestrians and students to get where they’re going - safely.

Aviva commends the efforts of the Davisville Village community for tackling a road safety issue in a simple, yet innovative way. This idea has inspired us to help more communities across Canada bring this program to life.