Reflections by Randy Hodge
|Posted on May 12, 2017 at 7:25 AM|
As the school year wraps up we begin to enter into a summer mode where we’re more relaxed and carefree. However, this can also mean we become more carefree in other areas of our life like paying attention to the safety of students in our community in and around school zones. I would like to work together with you to make sure that safety continues to be a top priority for our students and all students in the Portland area both while school is in session and during the summer months.
Areas where we can work together to improve the safety and well-being of our students include:
• Speeding in a school zone. We’ve all done it once or twice but consistently drivers exceed the posted 25-mile-per-hour speed limit when travelling by the school on both West Street and Grand River Avenue. Students are crossing Grand River Avenue throughout the day to access the student parking lot or Alton Park. We ask that you watch out for students crossing at all times of the day, not just in the morning and afternoon and slow down always.
• Parking on both sides of the street near Father Flohe Field. When both baseball and softball games are going on at Father Flohe Field and during large events like Summerfest we have people parked on both sides of Union Street. Please remember that children are not looking both ways and may potentially dart out in front of cars when crossing to go to West Side to purchase goodies. Students should avoid jaywalking and cross at intersections where it is safer to cross.
• Car seats, as required by state law. Michigan law states: Children must be properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.
• Texting and driving. Most of us are glued to our phones 24/7 now. Even though it’s dangerous, many people still text and drive. I urge you to set an example for your children where you leave the phone down or out of sight while driving.
• Stopping for school buses. Many people are still not stopping for the red, overhead lights on school buses when they are dropping off and picking up students. These are the rules you need to remember when approaching a school bus:
o When overhead lights are flashing yellow: Prepare to stop
o When overhead lights are flashing red: Stop
o When hazard warning lights are flashing: Proceed with caution
I hope we can all work together to keep our children safe. They are our most precious treasure and their safety is our concern both inside and outside of school.