To the relief of educators and parents, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved changes that make it tougher for the county to remove crossing guards from certain intersections.
The action stems from a county proposal last November that called for the elimination of several crossing guards who work in the Rossmoor area.
County officials said relatively few students used the service. But school officials protested, saying that the guards were needed to ensure student safety.
Supervisors postponed a decision on the matter and asked officials to create a new process for determining whether an intersection needs a crossing guard.
Under the old system, a guard was considered necessary if 25 to 35 children and 200 to 300 vehicles traveled through the area at peak hours.
While the new rules retain that standard, they also allow the transportation department to consider the design of the roads and concerns from neighbors and school officials.
"If there are unique circumstances, we can exercise our discretion and allow a crossing guard to remain even if the numbers are low," said Ignacio G. Ochoa, manager of traffic engineering for the county.
Supervisor Jim Silva applauded the changes. "This provides school districts with an opportunity to work with the county and establish priorities at a local level," he said.
The rules apply to incorporated areas such as Rossmoor, Midway City, west Anaheim, Santa Ana Heights, North Tustin and South County foothill communities.