Janesville53.5°

Janesville motorists on the lookout for students

Print Print
Kathleen Foody
August 18, 2009
— Back to school means back to work for Dale Kruse, but he almost never steps foot inside a school building.

Kruse has worked as a crossing guard for six years and has had his share of close calls with distracted or rushing drivers.


Kruse—and the children he escorts—twice have been narrowly missed by drivers. Both drivers were using the right lane to pass slowing vehicles and didn’t see the crossing guard until the last moment.


“Everybody’s got to be in a rush when you could just leave a few minutes earlier and get there in the same amount of time,” Kruse said.


As students head back to class this fall, the Janesville Police Department is encouraging drivers to remember rules around schools are meant to keep the community safe.


Kruse and 17 other adult crossing guards play a big part in that job too. Kruse trains new guards before they step out to the middle of busy city streets.


Keeping students safe is really a simple task, he said.


“It just comes down to basic, think about what you’re doing,” Kruse said. “Thank goodness we haven’t had any fatalities as long as I’ve been there.”


The training for a guard is simple: wear your reflective vest, hold your electronic stop sign high and keep a pad of paper and pen close by to write down the license plate numbers of serious offender.


Students seem to be better trained to pay attention before crossing a street than most drivers.


Kruse said the majority of the students wait for him to walk them across safely.


Speed is the most common rule drivers ignore around schools, but Kruse said distracted driving at any speed is dangerous around a school.


“All this twittering and texting now, people just aren’t paying attention,” he said.


AVOIDING A TICKET

Save yourself a $20 parking ticket by avoiding these traffic offenses during the school year:


-- Don’t park within 15 feet of an intersection or crosswalk


-- Don’t park within 4 feet of a driveway or 5 feet of a curbside mailbox


-- Don’t park in bus loading zones, where the curb is painted yellow or if a sign designates no parking


-- Don’t park in school lots unless you’re authorized or use the school lots to drop off or pick up children


-- Speeding in school zones when children are present could mean a fee of $173 to $375


-- Ignoring “no turn on red” signs could mean a $173 ticket


-- Failure to stop for a school bus could mean a $312 ticket



Print Print