The Rice Lake Police Department has an active School Crossing Guard Program, providing guards at five different locations throughout the city. Due to an anticipated budget shortfall in 2013, the Rice Lake Police Department partnered with the Rice Lake Area School District to ensure this program's continuation. The School District is providing the necessary revenue, while the Rice Lake Police Department manages the operations of this valuable program.
The Police Department currently employs five full-time and seven part-time crossing guards. Almost all of the guards are retirees who choose to stay active in the community, and at the same time, supplement their income.
The goal of the program is to safeguard Rice Lake children as they go to, and return from, various schools in the city. Each guard receives training from a police officer as to the proper and safe methods in which to help children across busy streets. Each guard is issued a yellow safety vest and a large handheld “stop” sign.
The Police Department is proud of the long tenure of our guards. Most guards have served the city for several years.
The crossing guards remind citizens to drive slowly through school zones and be aware of the children around them.
Remember: Everyone Must Stop for School Bus Stop Arms
To protect our children, drivers must obey the school bus stop arm and school safety patrols as they would a stop sign or a traffic light. Citizen compliance to the following laws will lead to improved school bus safety:
- 346.48(1). The operator of a vehicle which approaches from the front or rear any school bus which has stopped on a street or highway when the bus is equipped according to s.347.25(2) and when it is displaying flashing red warning lights, shall stop the vehicle not less than 20 feet from the bus and shall remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the operator extinguishes the flashing red warning lights. The operator of any school bus which approaches from the front or rear any school bus which has stopped and is displaying flashing red warnings lights shall display its flashing red lights while stopped. This subsection does not apply to operators of vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction on a divided highway.
- 346.46(2m). 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.
- 346.48(3). If the operator of a motor vehicle overtakes a school bus which is stopped and is loading or unloading pupils or other authorized passengers at an intersection on the right side of a roadway in a business or residential district in which the display of the flashing red warning lights on the school bus is not permitted, the operator shall pass at a safe distance to the left of the school bus and shall not turn to the right in front of the school bus at that intersection.