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INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – As the new school year begins, drivers, students and faculty will notice at least 400 new safety beacons around Marion County. The flashing yellow lights will soon blink in every school zone around Marion County. The lights are a warning sign to remind drivers to ease off of the gas when class is in session.

“They do not have to know what day it is, what time it is, or if that particular school is in session. All they need to know if that when they approach one of these beacons and it is flashing, it is time to slow down to 25 miles per hour because there are children in the area,” said Betsy Witmore of the Indianapolis Department of Public Works.

They are simple but very noticeable signs that officials believe can save lives. Schools in Marion County will program each school zone safety beacon according to their busy times, flashing two hours before school and two hours after dismissal.

“These were installed where there were busier areas that had four lanes of traffic and higher speeds to increase the overall safety in those areas where children are in motion,” said Witmore.

150 schools will use the safety beacons. Some of those schools are back in session this week, while six other schools go back next week. The lights will flash only when schools are in session.

“The school zone flashing beacons are aimed at improving overall safety in school zones,” said Witmore.

IMPD says when the lights are not flashing; drivers should travel the previously posted speed limit in the area.