Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Friday, 13 September 2013 00:00
Port Washington students will help steer the area toward safety this year.
Schreiber High School television production students and other community partners will create and produce the Public Service Announcements that will inform motorists and pedestrians of laws designed to keep them safe, as well as other traffic safety tips.
The PSA’s will target irresponsible driving activities such as using a phone, texting, not observing speed limits and not stopping at stop signs.
Police Commissioner Dave Franklin told The Port Washington News that the idea of having students create and produce the public service announcements evolved slowly during the last two years. He and other police district representatives have already met with Dr. Karen Mooney, superintendent of Port Washington Schools; and Ira Pernick, principal of Paul D. Schreiber High School.
“Having students come up with the ideas that will best inform their peers ... is a win-win situation,” Franklin said.
“We are getting the kids involved to assist in educating other kids as well as some of the adults. When your child in the back seat asks you about texting or using hand held devices while driving, how do you justify your actions? We’re counting on the next generation to help us make the town a safer place to walk, ride and drive.”
The main issues, according to Franklin, are: “We have too many drivers who text or call while driving; people who treat speed limits and stop signs as suggestions rather than laws. We have pedestrians who cross streets while texting or talking on phones with no awareness of what the cars around them are doing. We have cyclists who don’t realize that they are vehicles subject to traffic laws. Too many cyclists run stop signs regularly, and conversely too many drivers do not respect cyclists.
The student involvementpart of the Police District moving forward with a Traffic Safety Initiative that will include partnerships with various community groups, including the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and residents of the Port Washington Community.
As part of the Traffic Safety Initiative, the Police District and its partners will continue to educate the community about the vehicle and traffic laws and reinforce safety messages. The Police District will continue to do traffic safety enforcement as in the past.
The district decided to hold a contest among students to name the initiative because the early working title “Irresponsible Drivers in Our Town,” resulted in an acronym that was found offensive. The winner of the contest will be announced at Pride in Port Day September 28.
Acting Police Chief James Salerno said: “Primarily the Police District will ensure that all of its partners understand the importance of getting the community educated. Most of those served by our law enforcement community obey the law.
Others may simply need an educational reminder from a public service announcement. Working together as partners, as a community, we can increase our traffic safety awareness and prevent accidents and injuries.”