Frederick Ryan, Chief of Police
112 Mystic St.
Arlington, MA 02474
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015
Contact: Captain Richard Flynn, PIO
Contact: John Guilfoil
Arlington Police Department and Arlington Public Schools Recommend School Safety Tips
ARLINGTON — Chief Frederick Ryan and the Arlington Police Department, together with Dr. Kathleen Bodie and the Arlington Public Schools, would like to remind the community about several safety practices around school safety as the new academic year approaches in less than a month.
Students in grades one through twelve will return to Arlington Public Schools on Sept. 8. Those in kindergarten and preschool will start on Sept. 15.
“The new school year is an exciting time for teachers, students, and families alike,” Superintendent Bodie said. “Together, we can all make sure that the start to the new year is safe and healthy for everyone.”
The Police and School departments remind all parents to adhere to the drop-off protocols established by each school principal. Those walking to school should know and understand to look both ways before crossing the street and to only cross the road at a designated crosswalk.
Pedestrian injuries are the second leading cause of unintentional injury and death among school-aged children 5 to 18 years old. Most injuries to children in kindergarten through third grade occur when they run into the street mid-block, while older students are most often hurt at intersections. To prevent potential tragedies, children should:
• Be aware of pedestrian hazards and how to avoid them
• Know traffic signs and signals, and safe walking zones
• Wait for the “walk” signal at a crosswalk, or for a crossing guard to signal the OK to proceed into the street
Children should not cross the street in the middle of a block, and they should NEVER dart out from between two parked cars. These same safety tips apply to adults as well, who should be an example for their children.
“Parents should talk with their children before the first day of school to ensure they know the best safety practices for getting to school and home again safely,” Chief Ryan said. “At the same time, we remind drivers to follow the rules of the road, especially when in the vicinity of a school or school bus.”
For those students who take school buses, the majority of related injuries occur when boarding or exiting a bus because of passing traffic or due to walking in one of the bus driver’s blind spots. Children ages 4 to 7 are at the highest risk of injury.
Police recommend that parents follow safety procedures outlined by Department of Public Health to prevent accidents this school season.
• Educate children on safe bus riding and walking behaviors when getting on and off the bus.
• Before crossing the street, teach young children to take five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus and to wait for the driver’s signal before walking.
• Develop appropriate bus pick-up/drop-off policies.
• Closely supervise children under age 10 who must cross the street after exiting the bus.
The fine for illegally passing a school bus is a maximum of $200, and repeat offenders may have their licenses suspended.
Additionally, before sending your child off to school in the morning, Chief Ryan suggests checking backpacks to make sure they are a tolerable weight. The American Chiropractic Association advises that backpacks should weigh no more than 10 percent of a student’s body weight, as heavy pressure can negatively affect the skeletal and muscular development in children.