Dancing crosswalk guard sidelined by police

A Toronto crossing guard is told to stop dancing while on the job out of concern that she could be distracting drivers.

TPS video of Kathleen Byers

9 years ago
Duration 2:13
Dancing crosswalk guard Kathleen Byers is profiled in a Toronto police video

A Toronto crossing guard has been told to stop dancing while on the job out of concern that she could be distracting drivers.

Kathleen Byers is known for dancing back and forth across Dufferin Street, south of Dundas Street West, to music from a boombox, which she wears slung over her shoulder.

The 64-year-old former fitness instructor and self-described “ham” is a hit with the local kids, but police aren’t as amused.

The Toronto Police Service — which once produced a short video about Byers — says she isn’t following procedure and her dancing may be distracting to drivers.

“You have to be aware of what's happening at the intersection at all times. That means you need to be focused,” Const. Clint Stibbe told CBC News.

Byers stands by her record. She says she’s never had an accident in her 10 years on the job.

“I feel a big chunk is cut out of my life” not being allowed to dance, she said.

Byers says she will turn down her music and continue to dance while on the sidewalk, but not on the street.

Some of the neighbourhood kids are speaking out against the ban. Eight-year-old Stella Horvath has collected 300 of her classmates’ signatures on a petition calling for the ban to be lifted, which she plans to present to the police.

“I don’t think it’s fair because she never did anything wrong,” said Horvath. 

With files from CBC's Michelle Cheung


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?