SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - May 21 has been declared Crossing Guard Appreciation Day in Illinois.

Governor JB Pritzker declared the day in honor of the men and women who help keep kids safe as they walk and bike to school.

"Crossing guards are an integral part of creating safe routes to school for children," said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman.

"Throughout the school year, they are a friendly face that can be found in rain, sun and snow, guiding our students to safety and providing parents with peace of mind."

Roughly 420 pedestrians between the ages of 8 and 14 are hurt in vehicle-related incidents every year in Illinois.

Without crossing guards, it is believed that number would be much higher.