“Operation Safe Start” launches August 20

Operation Safe Start   As another summer comes to an end, our children prepare for their next adventure in their Levy County School. On August 20, 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 become at an increased risk from transportation related injury such as motor vehicle crashes, bicycle related injuries and pedestrian injury. 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.   Currently our Levy County School Board bus division is completing all the last minute safety inspections on the icons of education system. On the 20th, our buses will hit the streets in force. Law Enforcement will be watching as our buses make the scheduled stops and pick up our 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 the everyday motorist schedule. Most child related injury as related to our buses occur during the time they enter or exit the bus. The danger zone for our children extends 10 feet from all sides of the bus. Motorists need to be aware of this and be especially mindful and diligent in their travels taking heed to the warning lights each of our buses display while collecting our children each morning and dropping them off in the afternoon.   “Operation Safe Start” began three years ago and is a program we intend to continue. The Sheriff’s Office will be present to assist in the safe and efficient welcome of our students back to school. For the first three days of school, each school will have a Uniformed Deputy assigned to greet our 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. We urge all of our parents, educators and students alike to travel safe and be alert to the dangers as they travel toward their next adventure in life.   ###  

Lt. Scott Tummond
Criminal Investigations Division
Levy County Sheriff's Office
(352) 486-5111