As a retired New Jersey State Police Captain and a former Sheriff of Hudson County I am submitting the following reminder to all the residents in the county concerning the safety of most valued persons, our children and grandchildren as they return to school:
September is back to school for students throughout the county and in the excitement of meeting new friends and teachers they tend to forget the everyday hazards that exist out on the street. Transportation to and from school whether it be by foot, on a school bus or in a private vehicle is a high risk part of the day. According to the National Highway Safety Administration approximately 440,000 school buses travel more than four billion miles each year.
We are offering the following suggestions for the safety of our students: Line up facing the school bus door, not along the side of the bus; never play in the street while waiting for the school bus; never reach under the bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen underneath; move immediately onto the sidewalk after exiting the bus, wait for either the bus driver or aide to signal to you before you cross the street; never cross the street behind the school bus. For the walkers, try not to walk alone and pay attention to the traffic signals. For those who ride to school in a private vehicle, always wear a seat belt and go right from the vehicle to the sidewalk. For adult drivers pay particular attention to the many young people in the street especially in the morning and at afternoon dismissal time.
We wish all in Hudson County a happy and safe back to school experience. These are the best years of your life as a young person, be safe, healthy and happy.
Yours in Public Safety,
Juan M. Perez
Retired New Jersey State Police/former Sheriff of Hudson County