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Milford Students to Receive Lessons in Pedestrian Safety

Hoping to prevent a repeat of a near-fatal accident involving a 4-year old boy who was hit while running across the street earlier this month, the Milford School District is implementing child pedestrian safety lessons. Pictured here are officers investigating the West St. accident that occurred on May 6. The child, who was in intensive care, is believed to be recuperating. Harry Platcow photo

After a near fatal accident of a 4-year-old boy who was crossing the street in Milford this month, as well as other accidents in the not-too-distant past involving students on bicycles, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Tremblay has called for lessons on pedestrian safety to be added to the school curriculum.

"In light of the near tragic accidents that have happened recently in our community involving student pedestrians and bicyclists, our school staff will be taking time between now and the end of the school year to discuss pedestrian safety with the students," wrote Tremblay in a letter to Milford School parents.

All Milford Public School teachers from grades Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5, will be presenting five short lessons, provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on child pedestrian safety. The district will also be working with the Milford Fire Department and the Milford Police Department on this endeavor. According to Tremblay, Firefighter Patrick Evans (a.k.a. Firefighter Pat) will be working with the schools and speaking with the elementary students about both pedestrian safety and fire safety, and at the middle school level, School Resource Officers will be working with the students in this "important" issue.

In the letter to parents, Tremblay encouraged families to provide education and support at home, and gave them the following safety precautions:

• Always wear a helmet when riding bikes, scooters, or skateboards;

• Use sidewalks and crosswalks with the same caution and attention as one should when crossingthe street;

• Be mindful of motorists and be confident that they see you before crossing both busy and isolated streets;

• When passing driveways along your route, be alert of reversing cars;

• Socialize safely while walking with peers – do not let visual or audio technologies interfere with your ability to look and listen;

• And NEVER run into a street for ANY reason.

At Woodland Elementary School, Principal Craig Consigli said that they were working on finalizing their lessons on pedestrian safety, which they hope will include interactive demonstrations on sidewalk safety with the students using the front of their building and parking lot as the scene. "I think that third and fourth graders are some of the best targets for this intervention. They are at an age where they want to walk to and from school by themselves, but they are still only 9 and 10-years-old, and not always conscious of their surroundings," said Consigli. He added that to get through to the students, adults must continue to deliver the message about safety. "We need to keep reinforcing that although you may be safe and doing the right thing [while walking or riding your bike], the driver may be distracted, so they need to be even more aware," he said.

Consigli said that at Woodland, they start every day with a simple message over the loudspeaker that they use to drive home the importance of being safe in all situations. "Woodland students are safe, responsible, and respectful."


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