CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA)– The sound of a whistle and directions from a crossing guard are two things Norman Runkles says can save a life.

Runkles is the school crossing guard coordinator for Clearwater Police Department.

He says electronic whistles and red light cameras are just a few of the new things coming to some jurisdictions in the Tampa Bay area.

“There is no way to physically possibly know how many children are saved walking to and from school with a crossing guard,” he said.

This crossing guard training comes as we approach Aug. 26, the day that will mark one year since 15-year-old Ethan Weiser was hit and killed while crossing a street for his school bus in Clearwater.

“It’s a weird and stressful time of the year, for not only kids going back to school but just dealing with those memories and all of those situations coming flooding back,” Weiser’s uncle Matt Croasmun said.

Croasmun is now urging everyone to listen to the crossing guards and stay vigilant when in school zones.

“You have to take the time to slow down and be aware of what’s going on because if you don’t, you could forever alter not only your life but another family’s life as well,” he explained. “That’s a hard thing to live with and a hard thing to deal with all because you weren’t paying attention or you’re busy.”

When 8 On Your Side reporter, Nicole Rogers, asked Runkles what his message would be to parents and children watching that are getting ready for the upcoming school year, he said to make sure you’re being vigilant.

“My message for them is to please, when you’re in a school zone, please get off your phone, make sure that you’re vigilant,” he said. “Just all around, make sure the students know that five seconds here can save a life.”

The City of Clearwater is also looking for more crossing guards ahead of the upcoming school year. You can find more information on Pinellas County crossing guard locations here.