Julia Tornfelt sometimes has fun doing her job, escorting kids coming to and from Sand Lake Elementary School. But she knows it's a very serious duty to keep her share of the district’s 50,000 students safe from traffic.
"Sometimes we dance on opposite side of the street, copy each other, make other people laugh," Tornfelt said. "I love helping kids and I love knowing I'm helping them keep safe. We did have two moose down Strawberry (Road) one time."
ASD Transportation Director Marty Elkins says officials’ top priority is keeping kids out of harm’s way, but that means asking for extra attention from drivers.
“It’s a lot of area and a lot of students that are moving about in the area trying to get safely to school,” Elkins said. “If you see the red lights on the bus just stop, stop wherever you are -- just stop.”
And don't go around a bus: doing that could get you a $300 fine. If you don't obey the crossing guard while driving, you could face a $90 fine. Speeding in a school zone could cost you up to $24 for every mile per hour you're caught driving over the posted speed limit.
The violations could also cost more than money, since all of them count as six-point tickets against a driver’s license; drivers who get 12 points in a year will have their licenses suspended.
Police aren't messing around when it comes to school zone safety, and neither is ASD’s transportation department. Managers want to see all the crossing guard positions filled as soon as possible, and Tornfelt encourages others to apply on the district’s website.
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