Ross A. Atstupenas
Chief of Police
15 St. Paul St.
Blackstone, MA 01504
For Immediate Release
Monday, Aug. 14, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Blackstone Police Department Offers Back to School Safety Tips
BLACKSTONE — As students and parents prepare for the new school year to begin, Chief Ross A. Atstupenas and the Blackstone Police Department are encouraging residents to review several safety tips.
All students in the Blackstone Public Schools will return to class on Aug. 30. School hours in Blackstone will be from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Residents who plan on visiting any of the public schools in Blackstone must check in at the office with a valid photo identification at the school’s office.
“Our number one priority is the safety of our community including students, parents and school staff,” Chief Atstupenas said. “While we understand that this time of year can be hectic for families, it is imperative that everyone follow these safety tips to ensure a safe and smooth transition back to school.”
Given how often students are on their phones texting, browsing the internet or playing games, the Blackstone Police Department recommends that parents talk to their children about the following safety tips provided by the National Safety Council (NSC) when headed to and from school:
- Never walk while texting. If you need to send a text, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk.
- Never cross the street while using an electronic device.
- Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street.
- Cross only at crosswalks.
Drivers should be on increased alert when traveling through school zones and should NEVER text and drive. The Blackstone Police Department reminds drivers that the speed limit in a school zone is 20 mph. Additionally, the NSC reminds operators that:
- In a school zone, when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.
- Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
- Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.
- Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.
- Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
To best ensure that children who travel to school by bus get there safely, Blackstone Police advise that students follow these tips from the NSC:
Getting on the bus:
- When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness.
- Line up away from the street as the bus approaches.
- Wait until the bus has stopped and the doors open before approaching.
Getting off the bus:
- If you have to cross in front of the bus, walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver. Make sure the driver can see you too.
- Wait for a signal from the driver before crossing. When the driver signals, look left, right, then left again. Walk across the road and keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
- If your vision is blocked, move to an area where you can see other drivers and they can see you.
School Resource Officer Joe Niemczyk will be back in all Blackstone Public Schools this year as a liaison between students, school employees and the police department. Residents can contact Officer Niemczyk at [email protected]stonepolice.org or 508-876-5808, or visit him at the police station.