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Conducting a Public Awareness Campaign


Sample Press Release


MAYOR ____________________ ANNOUNCES NEW PROGRAM TO PROTECT SCHOOL CHILDREN AND CROSSING GUARDS

Mayor _____________ has announced that the Police Department will implement the new Street Smart is Street Safe program to protect the safety of school children and School Crossing Guards. 

According to Police Chief ______________, the reasons for the high frequency of accidents involving school children and School Crossing Guards include:

* New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, a situation made worse by the number of vehicles on the State's roads.  For example, 30 years ago 50 percent of students walked or biked to school.  Today, 85 percent are driven to school, resulting in congestion in school zones far beyond what the streets were designed to handle.

* Distracted drivers including people eating or drinking behind the wheel, using cell phones or simply not paying attention.  There also are increasing incidents of aggressive driving.   Unfortunately, most unsafe driving in school zones is by drivers who use the streets most often, the parents and grandparents dropping off or picking up children.

The program, which features a new training video for school crossing guards, was produced by the Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund (MEL) and the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police. 

Chief _______ requested that any person seeing an incident of unsafe driving, including double parking, or unsafe conditions, such as blocking the view of a crossing guard, should notify the police department (telephone number) as soon as it is practical.

Mayor ______ also announced that a Citizen's Advisory Committee for Public Safety will be formed to provide support for the School Crossing Guard safety effort, reflecting the broad community involvement needed to protect children and crossing guards.

The Committee will consist of a member of the governing body, a member of the board of education, the municipal manager/administrator, the Chief of Police, the DPW superintendent, the municipal engineer and a number of civilian volunteers.  Citizens wishing to participate should call the Mayor (or designee) at (telephone number).

Sample Newsletter Article

STREET SMART IS STREET SAFE!
We need the help of every citizen to protect our school children and school crossing guards.  Tragically, the pedestrian accident rate has significantly increased statewide:

* New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, a situation made worse by the number of vehicles on the State's roads.  For example, 30 years ago 50 percent of students walked to school.  Today, 85 percent are driven to school, resulting in congestion in school zones far beyond what the streets were designed to handle.  

* Too many drivers are distracted by eating or drinking behind the wheel, using cell phones or simply not paying attention.  There also are increasing incidents of aggressive driving.   Unfortunately, most unsafe driving in school zones is by drivers who use the streets most often, the parents and grandparents dropping off or picking up children.

See children ahead?  Don't assume they know you are coming, even if they are looking right at you.  Children and senior citizens lack auditory localization - the ability to locate a moving object by hearing it.  That's why children and older people are far more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents.  

Accidents involving children are especially common where there are parked cars that block driver's vision of children darting into the street.  Accidents involving senior citizens are more common at intersections because older people take longer to cross. 

Many people aren't even aware how fast they are going.  If a car going 20 MPH hits a pedestrian, there is a 95% chance of survival.  However, the survival rate declines to 45% at 30MPH and less than 10% at 40 MPH. 

To address this problem, ___________(insert town name) has formed a Citizen's Advisory Committee for Public Safety consisting of member of the governing body, a member of the board of education, the municipal manager, the Chief of Police, the DPW superintendent, the municipal engineer and a number of civilian volunteers.  Citizens wishing to participate should call the (telephone number).

Also, in response to a statewide 65 percent increase in accidents involving crossing guards over the past 10 years, the Police Department is implementing the Street Smart is Street Safe training program aimed at crossing guards.   The program, which features a new training video for school crossing guards, was produced by the Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund (MEL) and the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police.  Creating a safe working environment for crossing guards helps assure the safety of the children.

Any person seeing an incident of unsafe driving, including double parking, or unsafe conditions, such as blocking the view of a crossing guard, is urged to notify the police department (telephone number) as soon as it is practical.