DRIVE SAFELY: SCHOOL IS IN SESSION
The Lake Placid Police Department is reminding the motoring public to be extra alert this time of year as school is back in session.
It is an exciting time of year for children, especially children who will be attending school for the first time. Unfortunately, it also means that young, inexperienced children are in the traffic mix, where they are more at risk to be struck by vehicles.
Remember, some children, especially those going to school for the first time, may have never learned traffic safety. Others may have forgotten over the summer. Drivers need to be cautious around schools, bus stops and areas where children walk to school.
Wait For School Buses
Remember to stop when the lights on school buses are flashing.
New York law states that vehicles must come to a complete stop on both sides of the street. Drivers who pass school buses while the lights are flashing will receive a citation that carries a 5-point penalty.
Children are not always aware of their surroundings and assume that drivers will stop for them. Children sometimes run into the roadway without looking first for traffic. Allow room for the frequent stops that happen during the morning pick up and the afternoon drop off.
Lake Placid's future is in its children so let's protect them.
Here's an important back-to-school reminder: before you walk or load the kids up for the drive to the bus stop or school, lock your doors. Those few minutes that you are away from home can be the perfect morning stop for a burglar. It may seem overly cautious to lock windows and doors when leaving for such a short time period, but the time spent doing this can deter a burglar and prevent some major problems later.
The Lake Placid Police Department suggests that everyone establish the habit of basic security when leaving the house in the morning. Parents or daycare providers could make the procedure a learning experience for the children. Many people have a morning checklist to make things simpler during that early morning rush hour. Why not add a security checklist to your morning routine? Depending on the age or ages of the children, let them help you get out of the house by giving them a task that relates to their security.
Older children should check and lock the windows, while the younger ones can see if the doors are locked behind you when you leave.
When you are on the way to and from school, keep watch on what is going on in your neighborhood. Look for strangers who seem to be lurking on the sidewalk, with no real purpose. Watch for cars driving slowly through the neighborhood. They might be sizing up potential targets. If you are concerned, dial 911 as soon as you return home, or on your cell phone if you have one. Try to provide a basic description of the individual or car that worries you. It will help police if they have this information.
Do not think that burglars work only at night, in the dark. They are opportunists, and will look for likely targets at any time of the day. In fact, many burglars strike during daylight hours when they believe all the occupants of a house may be at school or work. Make their life harder by taking these basic crime prevention measures.
Lake Placid Police are reminding parents/guardians and children about back-to-school safety. Officers are routinely trained in child safety and missing children investigations. With the start of the new school year, they are sharing this information with parents.
Although children are educated in school on stranger danger, learning about community helpers, and several other child safety topics, parents can also help. The following tips are just a few suggestions:
- Be aware of putting your child's name on anything that is readily visible. This might allow an abductor to get on a "first name" basis with your child and develop a sense of trust.
- Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out safe places to go if they are being followed or need help.
- Talk to your children about strangers approaching them and some of the ploys they might use. Stress to them that adults shouldn't need a child's help to find a puppy or get directions; they should ask another adult for that information.
- Teach your children that it is okay to say NO - tell them to trust their instincts.
- Remind your children to never give the impression they are home alone if strangers telephone or come to the door. Never open the door for a stranger, and teach them about dialing 911.