Sheriff Grady Judd reminds motorists that the decision made by the Polk County School Board to have schools countywide release students as much as two hours earlier this Wednesday, September 15, 2010, will result in children crossing streets in school zones earlier than normal, and in many cases without the normal flashing school zone beacons in operation.
Because of this, on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, motorists are advised to slow down to 15 MPH when driving in school zones earlier than the normal school zone / crossing times, since the flashing school zone beacons, in many cases, will not be flashing when children will be in the area. For elementary schools throughout the county, the student release and crossing times will be approximately between 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please be on the lookout for children and school crossing guards and slow down when they are in the area of the normal school zones and nearby crossings.
Also, children will be out and about in our neighborhoods earlier than normal on Wednesday. Drivers should be especially observant, as flashing beacons are programmed to operate at different times during the day around different school types (elementary, middle school, high school).
"The safety of our children, and our school crossing guards, is of the utmost importance to us," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "We want to remind everyone on the roads to pay attention to each and every school zone, and to slow down when you see the 'School Zone 15 MPH' sign with children and crossing guards in the area."
On Wednesday, September 15, 2010, the Polk County Sheriff's Office will have vehicles with emergency lighting equipment operating at elementary school zones in the unincorporated areas and in cities that have law enforcement contracts with the Sheriff's Office. The Polk County Sheriff's Office School Crossing Guards will be at their posts at the appropriate times, with or without operating flashing school zone beacons.