HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - For Huntsville City and Madison County students, the first day of school is less than 48 hours away.
Parents, students and staff are all getting ready and someone else is making preparations....school crossing guards.
"They don't have hardly anything to protect them," said Lt. Stacy Bates with the Huntsville Police Department. "They're standing out in the middle of a roadway. They're doing it as a part-time job. They don't get paid a lot of money. It's just something they love to do."
He says in addition to following the speed limit in school zones, everyone needs to obey the guards.
"By state law, even though they're not sworn police officers, they are recognized as a traffic control device," said Lt. Bates. "If they tell you to stop and you don't stop, or they tell you to go and you don't. Whatever it may be, if you disobey their orders it's the same thing as running a red light, running a stop sign. You can be ticketed, you can even be arrested depending on what the offense is."
Lt. Bates says it's important to remember a crossing guards top priority.
"Keep in mind that they're there because they are a traffic control device for the safety of the motorist, as well as the safety of the students," said Lt. Bates.