To these drivers, a stop is something to be avoided. But not on Harris’ watch! There are no rolling stops; no California stops; each car comes to a complete and full stop before one step is taken off the sidewalk.
Due to the volume of traffic and the speed of the cars, Harris has developed his own crossing agenda. He walks, alone, to the center of the road with no children following behind. When he reaches the middle of the street, he pauses to check that the cars in each direction have stopped. He then turns to the pedestrians lined up at the curb and with a big smile, gestures them onto the road. When the children are safely across, Harris smiles and waves to the drivers as he waits for his next group of travelers. This system has worked so successfully, Harris has never had a single incident on that highway.
To know Harris, who has been a crossing guard for six years, is to know someone who takes his responsibilities seriously, but with a huge grin on his face. He cares about all the kids and they know it. Regular drivers on 317 who see Harris on a regular basis, respect the job he does and enjoy the way he gets it done.
Featured in the TexAppeal magazine in October 2012, Harris commented on the use of cell phones and texting. He addressed this issue again saying that it is something he really has to watch for because so many drivers are so distracted. He was definitely in favor of the cell phone ban in the school zones but added that people still do it. He thinks texting should be illegal too as “there are just too many things to pay attention to when you are driving.”
Harris believes that the safety of his walkers is his top priority. He is constantly vigilante about the dangers of that busy section of road, but adds “ I love my job and enjoy it so much when the drivers’ acknowledge me and wave back.”
So the next time you see Harris in his lime fluorescent vest and his little band of school kids, give them all a big wave.
“It brightens everybody’s day,” he said.
And you’re only sitting in traffic anyway.