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School zones now active in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Twenty-eight school zone flashers began lighting up today reminding drivers to slow down as kids head back to school.

Director of Transportation for South Bend Schools, Juan Martinez – Legus urges motorists to keep safety in mind as kids head back to school. “Our kids our buses, they’re back on the roadway.”

If they haven’t already, kids will be heading back to school this week.

Monday, the city of South Bend activated school zone flashers.

Director of Streets and Services of South Bend, Derick Roberts explained the activated zone schedule. “You need to slow down and obey the speed limit on that sign,” he said.

Speed limits will be enforced from now until the end of the school year.

The lights will flash Monday through Friday from 7:45 to 9:15 in the morning and 2:45 to 4:15 for after school hours. And during football season, school zone lights will be lit along with the Friday night lights of the field in front of Jefferson school and city field from 6 to 11 pm.

School zone flashers aren’t the only road signals motorists need to watch out for. “Our buses are a moving traffic signal,” said Martinez – Legus.

Martinez – Legus asks not to forget about safety and school buses. Don’t forget to slow down and stop when a bus’s stop arm is up, at all lanes.

Around 180 south bend school corporation busses will be hitting the roads, and 14,000 students are transported to and from school every day.

Martinez – Legus has worked in the school bus industry for 22 years. “You can see on the walls in here uhm there’s a lot that relates to that school bus and the days when I was driving that school bus,” he showed.

Special memories of the kids he would bus to school each and every day. One letter hangs on the wall; it’s 50 handwritten sentences disciplining a kid’s use of language. “Very proud to say he rode my school bus. He was killed in Afghanistan,” Martinez – Legus said.

As a bus driver Martinez – Legus said  the most stressful time for him driving the bus was when the stop arm was extended. “My kids were getting on that bus, they were my babies.”

In a city filled with roadways that are 4 and 5 lanes the state requires all lanes of traffic to stop when the school bus red lights are flashing and arm is extended.

Martinez – Legus says that the state of Indiana does not tolerate drivers who don’t stop for buses.  “You need to be alert and take the time.  Because, safety of the kids, our people. That’s priority one.”

South Bend schools are always looking to hire drivers.

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