Michael L. Lyle, Chief
56 W. Foster St.
Melrose, MA 02176
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Aug. 21 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Melrose Police to Prepare for Start of School with Safety Procedures
MELROSE — Students aren’t the only one gearing up for the start of school. Chief Michael L. Lyle reports that the Melrose Police Department has several safety endeavors prepared for the beginning of the new academic year.
The first day of school for students in the Melrose Public Schools District is Sept. 1.
Melrose police will be visiting the Horace Mann, Hoover, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Winthrop elementary schools during the first week of classes to meet students and talk about best safety practices.
“We certainly want to take the time to speak with our younger community members to educate them on how they can remain safe while in school and away from home,” Chief Lyle said. “Safety is our number one priority and we hope students have a smooth transition come September.”
Police officers will also be present around the elementary schools during the first few days of school and will be available to answer parents’ or guardians’ questions. Traffic supervisors will be out to ensure students safely cross the street.
School Resource Officer Jim Applegate will be out and around the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School and Melrose High School as students make their way to class the first week of school. Officer Applegate is also permanently stationed at both schools to interact with students and provide guidance on any safety related matters.
Additionally, Chief Lyle recommends parents and guardians take a moment to review several procedures outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to prevent accidents this school season.
DPH reports that approximately 400,000 students in the state are transported to school by buses every year. While school bus travel is generally very safe, 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. To remain safe, parents should:
• 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.
Drivers should remember the fine for illegally passing a school bus is a maximum of $200, and repeat offenders may have their licenses suspended.
If walking to school, or when exiting the bus, parents and guardians should educate students about safely crossing the street. DPH reports that pedestrian injuries are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related 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