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*Joint Release* Pepperell, Ashby And Townsend Police Departments Offer Back to School Safety Tips

Pepperell Police Department
David Scott, Chief of Police
59 Main St.
Pepperell, MA 01463
Townsend Police Department
Rick Bailey, Interim Chief of Police
70 Brookline Road
Townsend, MA 01469
Ashby Police Department
Fred Alden, Chief of Police
893 Main Street
Ashby, MA 01431

For Immediate Release

Friday, Aug. 18, 2017

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003


*Joint Release*

Pepperell, Ashby And Townsend Police Departments Offer Back to School Safety Tips

PEPPERELL — The start of a new school year is always a busy time and Pepperell Police Chief David Scott, Ashby Police Chief Fred Alden and Townsend Interim Police Chief Rick Bailey urge families to review several safety tips for a smooth transition.

All students in grades one through 12 in the North Middlesex Regional School District will return to class on Aug. 30. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students begin classes on Sept. 5.

“Our top priority is ensuring students are getting to and from school safely,” Chief Scott said. “We encourage parents and students to pay extra attention during this time of year.”

With students often on their phones texting, browsing the internet or playing games, the Pepperell, Ashby and Townsend Police Departments recommend that parents talk to their children about following safety tips provided by the National Safety Council (NSC) when headed to and from school:

  • Never walk while texting. If you need to respond to 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. Additionally, the NSC reminds operators that:

  • Stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.
  • Always stop for a crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
  • Be alert for smaller vehicles that are used to transport students, and treat them as you would a full-sized yellow school bus.
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
  • Do not honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians

“With so many students taking different modes of transportation, pick-up and drop-off areas will be particularly busy, so we urge everyone to take extra care,” Chief Alden said. “Students and parents should implement safety precautions as part of their preparation back to school.”

To best ensure that children who travel to school by bus get their safely, Chiefs Scott, Alden and Bailey 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.

Behavior on the bus:

  • If available, always wear your seat belt.
  • Don’t put your head, arms or hands out the window.
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat.

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.