School opens Monday, Operation Safe Start begins

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Special to the Citizen from the 

Levy County Sheriff's Office

As another summer comes to an end, our children prepare for their next adventure in their Levy County School. On Monday they will begin this timeless ritual, their first day back. 

Children will face new challenges, making new friends, new teachers and for some, a new school.

Among this change comes danger. Children are at increased risk of injury from motor vehicle crashes, bicycle-related mishaps and pedestrian accidents.

Traffic patterns change as parents, bus drivers and the children themselves, rush to school. Increased congestion around the schools' entrances and exits become the focal points for law enforcement and citizens alike who try to navigate in and out of the school zones, all the while trying to hurry.  It is time for everyone—motorist, parents, educators and students—to improve their traffic safety practices.

The Levy County School Board bus division is completing all the last minute safety inspections on the  buses. Law enforcement will be watching as buses make the scheduled stops and pick up children.

Motorists are reminded of the traffic laws and dangers associated with this. School buses make multiple stops each morning, most of which are not part of everyday driving.

Most child-related injuries with school buses occur during the time they enter or exit the bus. 

The danger zone children extends 10 feet from all sides of the bus. Motorists need to be aware of this and be especially mindful  of the warning lights on the buses.

"Operation Safe Start" was started three years ago. For the first three days of school, each school will have a uniformed deputy assigned to greet the children and assist the staff. 

Resource Officers, Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (COPS) and uniformed patrol deputies will be monitoring the school zones and bus stops in marked and unmarked vehicles looking for traffic violations. 

 All parents, educators and students are urged to travel safe and be alert to the dangers.