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Crossing guards: dangerous driving/citations on the rise

City of Madison crossing guards say they - and the children they’re protecting – are being placed in increasingly dangerous situations because of drivers who are breaking the law.
So far 256 citations for “failure to yield to adult school crossing guard” have been issued this year. That compares to 151 during the same time span last year. In fact, in all of 2013 there were only 198 tickets issued.
MPD crossing guard supervisor Patti Knoche says higher traffic volumes and increased driver inattentiveness are mostly to blame. She also says guards are doing a better job of recording information needed for citations to be issued. Guards received training this past August on how to best capture license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions. Those are provided to a MPD lieutenant, and he is the person who writes the citations.
Supervisor Knoche uses a football analogy to explain the law: “The crosswalk is the line of scrimmage and drivers MAY NOT encroach upon it – be within 10 feet of it. They also may not pass through the line of scrimmage while the quarterback - our crossing guard - is protecting the line of scrimmage: the crosswalk and all of the children in it!”
The legal definition for the law can be found under City Ordinance 12.011 and  State Statute 346.465(1):
Every operator of a motor vehicle approaching a school crossing which is controlled by an adult school crossing guard appointed under s. 120.13 (31) or 349.215 shall follow the directions of the school crossing guard. If directed by the school crossing guard to stop, the operator shall stop the vehicle not less than 10 feet nor more than 30 feet from the school crossing and shall remain stopped until the school crossing guard directs the operator to proceed.

Madison‘s crossing guards encourage drivers to know the law, and to follow it. Their lives and the lives of children depend on it.