Ask Joe: Timing of School Zone Warning Lights

Marcus Culpepper wrote in asking why the school zone traffic lights outside of Double Diamond Elementary School on South Meadows Parkway flash in the morning at 7:00 a.m., warning drivers to slow down, when school doesn't start until after 9:00 a.m. ?

I checked with the city of Reno's Public Works Department. They told me they're in charge of the lights but they set them according to when the school district tells them to. So I checked with Julie Kemp with the Washoe County School District Police Department.
She says those flashing lights outside of Double Diamond Elementary School do go on at 7 a.m. because that is also considered to be a school zone for nearby Depaoli Middle School, which is located on Wilbur May Parkway, a few blocks away.
Kemp says there are a lot of children who walk to school along that route on their way to Depaoli which starts at 7:30 a.m.
So keep in mind if you see those flashing lights there is a reason, and you do have to slow down and be extra careful because there may be students walking to school at that early hour.