Back to School Safety

Picture Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/back-to-school-safety-tips-for-drivers.aspx

Picture Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/back-to-school-safety-tips-for-drivers.aspx

With #backtoschool in full swing, many of us have noticed the inevitable; more cars and more congestion.  Back to school means sharing the roads and slowing down. There are school buses picking up kids from multiple stops, kids on bikes are rushing to get to school on time, and parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

If you are someone who is dropping off your kids to school, make sure that the area is clear before letting them get out of the car. More children are hit by cars/buses near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. Before dropping off your kids be sure you are not double parked. This blocks visibility for other vehicles passing by. Do not drop off your kids across the street from their school, even though it may be more convenient for you. Carpooling is also a great way to reduce the number of vehicles around the school, which decreases the chances of a child getting hit.  Don’t block crosswalks- especially when you are stopped at a red light. Be sure to give the pedestrians the right away, whether they are walking or riding a bike. When you are in school zone and flashers are blinking, be sure to come to a complete stop and watch for children. Lastly, do your best to watch out for your children in school zones, playgrounds and residential areas, as well as the other children around them.

During school hours, there will be more and more school buses on the roads. If you are ever driving behind a school bus, you should always allow a greater following distance than you would driving behind a car. This then allows you to have more time to stop once the bus puts on it’s yellow flashing lights. Never pass a school bus if you are stopped behind them while they are picking up children. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. Passing a school bus from either direction on an undivided road, can potentially put children who are loading or unloading in danger if they are unaware that you are coming.

We are all responsible – as pedestrians and drivers, to make #backtoschool a safe return!

 

Bike Safety Tips for Kids

Bike riding can be a lot of fun, especially for kids. It’s a way for them to get out of the house and enjoy themselves in the fresh air. However, bike accidents do occur. They can happen pretty often if the child is not paying attention to their surroundings. Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency room because of bike injuries. A majority of the time it’s because they weren’t looking where they were going.

Picture Sources:  http://www.capjournal.com/people/health/riding-for-fun-riding-for-health/article_c11adcaa-690b-5b42-8e26-9fc324360473.html?mode=image&photo=0

Picture Source: http://www.capjournal.com/people/health/riding-for-fun-riding-for-health/article_c11adcaa-690b-5b42-8e26-9fc324360473.html?mode=image&photo=0

In order to fix this problem and for your child to stay safe while riding, here are some bike safety tips for them to follow:

Always wear a helmet. They may not seem like the coolest and most popular item out there, but they can save your life. A bike helmet can be annoying if not fitted properly. Make sure you size the helmet to fit your head. You do not want it too big or too small. Along with the helmet, always wear sneakers. Open toed shoes and sandals can fall off your feet or get stuck in the bike pedal while riding.

If it’s a hot day outside make sure to bring a bottle of water, sunglasses, and use sunscreen. It’s very important to stay hydrated when doing a physical activity- like bike riding. If the sun seems to be out then you should apply some sunscreen to areas of your body where the sun will be hitting them. It’s not worth getting really bad sunburn, even if you are going for a short ride.

Lastly, do not use your phone while riding your bike. Text messages , emails, calls, and the new game “Pokémon GO” can all wait.  Although it seems like fun to use the app while riding, it is a huge distraction. Not looking where you are going can cause an accident and even lead to injuries. Always make sure you come to a complete stop when playing or checking your phone. That way you are aware of your surroundings and are able to get to your destination safely.

Pokemon GO ~ Safety Tips!

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Have you recently noticed gaggles of people walking in groups with their attention focused on the phones in their hand? They seem to be looking for something, find it, and then continue on their way – all without once looking up from their phones? Well, we have answers for you. It’s called
Pokemon GO and although it’s fun to play, it’s a pedestrian safety hazard!

Pokemon GO is an interactive game where users capture Pokemon characters in real-time and actual locations.  If you are like me (40+ years old) this makes absolutely no sense, right?  But bear with me.  The game encourages users to walk around their neighborhoods.  With eyes glued to their handheld device, the screen converts to a camera screen and just feet ahead of them lies a Pokemon character waiting for capture.  The farther and longer they walk, the more characters they can capture.  And the more characters they capture, the more points and levels they earn.

So what’s the harm in this game?  People of all ages are walking more and spending more times in their community. Seems like a terrific idea, right?   After walking close to 12,000K steps following my children around our neighborhood this weekend, the safety issues are plentiful.

Sure ,it was wonderful that my children wanted to walk around town with me, but by the end of our adventure, I was ready to put them on leashes.   They were walking into other pedestrians (some of whom were also playing this game), walking too closely to curbs and nicely manicured bushes and plants, and even walking into crosswalks!  I spent the better part of the walk yelling commands.    It was an “eye”opening experience (pun totally intended)!

(null)As a parent and a from a safety standpoint, I share with you these 3 tips to make your Pokemon GO experience safe.

  1. Although the app suggests its users be 10 years old,  if your children are under the age of 15, I recommend the app be downloaded to YOUR phone. That way, you can join them on their adventure.
  2. Designate one person to hold the phone and the others to navigate the path so as to avoid walking into others, crossing streets without looking and tripping over uneven sidewalks.
  3. Since the app’s release, some users have been lured to secluded places and robbed. Be sure to review the safety features on your profile.  Many features can make the user vulnerable to others finding them since the app is also multiplayer.

The game was just released on July 6, 2016.  Be prepared to see, hear, and learn more about Pokemon GO.  Most importantly, play the game safely and never play the game alone.

 

 

 

 

Employers and Schools Recognized at KMM’s Annual Meeting

wisnewski speakingOver 125 people attended the Annual Membership Meeting of Keep Middlesex Moving, Inc. (KMM) to hear Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Chairman, Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee discuss the looming depletion of the Transportation Trust Fund and his comprehensive plan to remedy the problem.  The May 19 meeting took place at the Forsgate Country Club.

Thirty-Six Middlesex County companies received the prestigious 2016 NJ Smart Workplaces Award.  These awards honor companies for their outstanding achievements in providing commute alternative opportunities for their employees, thus reducing traffic and congestion and improving air quality.  (List featured below)

sponsors“KMM’s programs promote mobility, safety, and sustainability.  But these programs can only be implemented with the help of our partners, like the employers we are honoring with Smart Workplace Awards,” said KMM’s Executive Director William Neary.

Neary recognized the sponsors of the Annual Meeting, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Johnson& Johnson, Magyar Bank, Provident Bank, GoCentralNJ, Magic 98.3, 1450 WTC and Northfield Bank.

In addition, KMM recognized four Middlesex County schools and one municipality in the NJ Safe Route to School Recognition Program, part of NJDOT’s statewide Safe Routes to School program.  The awards are given based on their commitment and involvement in the Safe Routes to School program. This year, two schools achieved First Step, one achieved Bronze, and two achieved Silver level recognition.  (List featured below.)bookmarkwinnersrts

“The NJ SRTS Recognition Program is a way for KMM to thank our school and municipal partners for their hard work throughout the year making it safer and easier for children and their families to walk and bike to school. We hope that our combined efforts can create a better neighborhood not just for schoolchildren, but for everyone who lives, walks, and bikes in these neighborhoods,” said SRTS Coordinator Peter Bilton.

2016 New Jersey Smart Work Place Recipients

Borough of Sayreville Bronze
Granville Y. Brady Jr. Au.D. P.A. Bronze
Magyar Bank Bronze
Hoagland Longo Moran Dunst & Doukas LLP Bronze
Township of North Brunswick Bronze
Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce Bronze
County of Middlesex Bronze
Northfield Bank Bronze
Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer Bronze
State Theatre Bronze
South Brunswick Township Bronze
Wells Fargo Bronze
Bristol-Myers Squibb Bronze
Middlesex County Workforce Development Bronze
Township of East Brunswick Bronze
Monroe Township Bronze
Piscataway Township Bronze
New Brunswick Parking Authority Silver
Greater Media Silver
Borough of Metuchen Silver
Keep Middlesex Moving, Inc. Silver
City of Perth Amboy Silver
City of New Brunswick Silver
North Brunswick Township High School Silver
St. Peter’s University Hospital Gold
Township of Woodbridge Gold
Hyatt Regency New Brunswick Gold
Firmenich, Inc. Gold
Township of Plainsboro Gold
Township of Edison Platinum
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Platinum
IEEE Platinum
Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Platinum
Johnson & Johnson Platinum

2016 NJ Safe Routes to School Recipients

Silver:
City of New Brunswick
Oak Ridge Heights Elementary School, Woodbridge

Bronze:
Campbell Elementary School, Metuchen

First Step:
William C. McGinnis Middle School, Perth Amboy
Samuel E. Shull Middle School, Perth Amboy