Police reward students for walking safe in Greenburgh
Greenburgh police are reminding students to be safe when walking to school with a reward for those who follow best practices.
Officers have been working with students at elementary schools like the Seely Place School across the area on a pedestrian initiative to have safety at the top of their minds.
The National Traffic Safety Administration reports an increase of fatal pedestrian accidents in the past decade across the country.
In fact, the latest data shows 268 New York pedestrians were killed in 2019. However, that number has held steady since 2018 and has been generally dropping over the past several years.
It's thanks to initiatives like this one in Greenburgh to reiterate the importance of staying alert when walking these roads.
“Several years back, we had a lot of pedestrian-involved accidents and we realized that we needed to better educate the public— to reach out to the public and to try to make the world safe,” says Eric Lederer, of the Greenburgh Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit.
Officials are reminding students to:
• Use sidewalks rather than streets
• Look both ways before crossing the crosswalk
• Keep distractions away -- things like cellphones and headphones
As part of the initiative, the police department has partnered with local restaurants to give gift cards to kids who follow safety guidelines.
"Our intention here is to just educate students to cross the road safely since school started. Post-COVID, there's been a lot of foot traffic. Students are back in school full time, and we just want to be out here to make sure that they get to school safely," says Detective John Jakasal.
Principal Eve Feuerstein says the message of pedestrian safety holds a little more weight for Seely Place School.
“We are a walking school, we are a community school, so there are no buses,” she says. “It is so important to our students that they know how to cross the street and, as we know, pedestrian safety is no accident."
Among the rewards students receive are reflective bracelets and #WalkSafeGreenburgh gift cards.