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The Chief's Blog

Back to School

September - 2013

It’s that time of year again – back to school. It is an opportunity for parents and their children to prepare for the coming school year. For us, it is an opportunity to remind everyone about season-specific safety tips to keep in mind as we send our children back to school. Please take a moment to read these tips and consider discussing them with your children.

Tip #1: Develop a safe, consistent route to school. Avoid high-traffic and difficult to cross roads. Open up a map and plan out the safest walking/biking route for your children. Then, ask that they take the same route to and from school. In the event you could not walk with your child, you will be confident on the child’s route. By preparing this route ahead of time, you will be able to say with certainty which route your child took.

Tip #2: Don’t assume drivers can see you. This is a common mistake I see adults make too. Often times, people walk headstrong into a crosswalk simply because they believe they have the right-of-way. This is a dangerous gamble with one’s life. Besides, pedestrians are not infallible and are required to exercise due caution. Teach your children to make eye contact, wave at the driver, or otherwise acknowledge that the driver sees your child. Who has the right-of-way is a moot point when the pedestrian is at such a disadvantage.

Tip #3: Bike helmets save lives. Everyone knows this but it is shockingly disappointing to see children without them. The Marysville Police Department gives away dozens of bicycle helmets every year. Children may receive traffic citations which will be the parent’s responsibility to pay. These fines are much more expensive than a safety helmet. They should be worn while biking, skating, skateboarding, etc. A very light impact to the head can cause concussion, swelling, and internal bleeding. Keep in mind that paramedics cannot perform neurosurgery so the ability to treat these injuries take minutes when seconds count.

Tip #4: Dress for success. Early morning pedestrians/bicyclists should consider bright colored clothing to increase visibility. Clothing should be non-restrictive, highly visible, and not distracting. Avoid wearing earbuds/headphones that eliminate environmental sounds such as approaching motorists, honking horns, and emergency sirens.

Tip #5: Be courteous. No one likes to wait in lines at schools and everyone wants a good parking space. Drive with patience, especially when there are children present. Drop off children in the designated area. Don’t double-park or stop in fire lanes. MPD officers will be on patrol and will cite those drivers who sacrifice safety for a minor convenience.

If you have any back-to-school concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will do everything in our power to encourage children and drivers to safely get where they need to be.

With a commitment to the community,

Dave Baker
Chief of Police

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