They ensure safety on the roads in front of the schools and ensure that younger students in particular can cross the street to school without endangering cars and buses. There have been student guides in Germany for 70 years. In Lower Saxony, the number of these traffic assistants – as they are officially called – has been around 4,000 for years, said Tim Hey, Deputy Managing Director of the Lower Saxony State Traffic Watch in Hanover. However, there is one change: In the past ten years, the proportion of adults in this pilot service has increased significantly.

“In the meantime, the proportion of adults in this service is around two-thirds, ten years ago the ratio of adults and young people was roughly balanced,” explained Hey. However, there are no precise numbers.

In his observation, parents or grandparents are happy to volunteer as guides, as long as the children or grandchildren are at school. Pupils from the age of 13 can register for the pilot service. “As a rule, the student pilots are the older students from high school,” said Hey. When they leave school, they usually end their pilotage as well.

Before students can work as pilots, they have to complete compulsory training lasting several hours. Here they learn about traffic. The “supreme discipline” is correctly estimating the speed of approaching vehicles and being able to calculate the braking and stopping distance. “They are very good at it all – we see that every year at our state competition,” said Hey. This is usually held every year before the summer holidays. After the forced corona break in the past two years, there should be another state competition this year.

Not every school has student guides, Hey reported. It always depends on the traffic situation. If the dangers have been eliminated by structural measures, there is no need for pilots. So there is no difference between town and country.