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It's the Changing of the Crossing Guard

September 02, 1997

They are an orange-swathed force, armed only with bright red signs and a willingness to walk into busy streets to protect children. With school starting, new county crossing guards have been learning the ropes. Recently, Ventura Police Officer Mike Van Atta demonstrated traffic control in an intersection. Six guards took turns stepping out into the crosswalk, waving their stop signs to get drivers' attention. As if to underscore the danger, a large blue Lincoln went through the intersection without stopping. Van Atta issued a warning to the driver. Soon, though, anyone who drives through a crosswalk while the guard's stop sign is held aloft could be fined a minimum of $135. The speed limit in school zones when children are present is 25 mph. Drivers must stop as soon as a crossing guard steps off the curb and proceed when the guard has returned to the curb.

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