Huntsville public safety aides train for a new school year

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville City Schools heads back to school tomorrow and school zone traffic will ramp back up. Public Safety Aides direct traffic and they have prepared to get back on the streets.

When you hear the sound of a Public Safety Aides whistle, you know that school is back in session. On Monday parents will be finding out where to go and school faculty and staff will be adjusting to a new routine. The Public Safety Aides are going to be doing some adjusting as well. Huntsville Police Department says drivers need to be aware and patient. Sgt. O.J. Holliday with the  Huntsville Police Department says  “Our drivers need to take heed that we’re trying to protect the kids.”

Public Safety Aides or “PSA’s” go through a lot of training before the first day back, because standing in the middle of the street, directing traffic is not an easy task. PSA Joseph Krol is back on the streets directing traffic for the first time in 10 years. He says the hardest part is managing all the moving parts.

“There is so much going on, such as, we had a vehicle out there, that was having problems getting through the intersection blocking traffic, ” Krol says, Anything can happen.”

Police say drivers don’t always pay attention and last school year they say that driver error caused a collision. Holloway says a parent was involved in a wreck outside of Challenger Elementary and  Middle School in Huntsville.

Holloway says, “She had just picked up 4 kids from Challenger, We had to take 4 kids and an adult to the hospital because someone ran a hand signal.”

If you can see the front or back of a PSA that means stop. The PSA’s vests read “Police” so if you can read that, you need to hit the brakes.

Drivers should also note that if you come to an intersection where the lights are flashing red it is likely a school zone with a PSA present. It is a good idea to be alert and slow down. “It’s important that they realize that if they speed through these zones they can kill someone’s kids or they can hurt or kill one of our PSA’s,” says Holloway.

Pay attention and drive safe, that way everyone can have a safe first day of school.

Huntsville Police also say that Patrol will be in full force on Monday, making sure that drivers are obeying traffic laws while in school zones.

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