Deputies blitzing school zones as students return to classes

Sgt. Todd Astle patrolling the crosswalk near Millville Elementary School.

MILLVILLE — As kids begin the new school year, Cache County Sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement agencies are increasing their patrols near schools.

Sheriff Chad Jensen said 23 deputies will be out patrolling school zones and crosswalks for several days. The school “blitz” is organized to raise safety awareness for both students and motorists.

“Many of our schools don’t have one crosswalk, many of them have two or three, and even four,” explained Jensen. “Many of the schools are built on major highways, with high speeds and a lot of traffic. Those are the areas that we are really trying to push, and make people aware that school is back in session and we want everybody to be safe.”

Some of those assigned to the blitz include the sheriff’s office administration, investigators and jail deputies. The goal isn’t to increase citations, but to remind motorists that kids are back using crosswalks in schools zones and traffic has increased.

Jensen said his deputies have also seen an alarming number of people not wearing seat belts, when dropping kids off or picking them up.

“Seat belts are not necessarily a part of the crosswalk duties but there have been several vehicles that have come to schools that have had small children, who aren’t going to school, sitting on the seats or in the back of pickup trucks. Those are safety issues too that we want to be concerned with.”

Deputies will be at the school zones and crosswalks with their lights flashing, interacting with the crossing guards and kids.

Jensen said he hopes that as motorists see the extra deputies on patrol, they will be more alert to their driving.

“We just really want people to slow down, watch for the kids, pay attention, obey the crosswalks and all the school zone issues, so all of our kids can come back to school safe and start the school year off in the right way.”

Next week, deputies will be transitioning back to an enforcement role after the blitz, where they will cite people for breaking speed limits and rules.

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