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Wendy Tepfer, Community Parent Center
(516) 771-9346–office
1260 Meadowbrook Road
North Merrick, NY 11566

Back to School Safety for Drivers
A Message from Wendy Tepfer
Director of the Community Parent Center

It’s September and usually at this time, children from kindergarten through college are starting the new school year. However, this year is anything but a routine back-to-school season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts’ plans across the Long Island vary from all-virtual, to hybrid, to complete in-person instruction. As we all try to adapt and adjust to the “new normal”, the Community Parent Center asks you to keep one thing in mind: driver safety.

Back to school means a return to slower driving in your community and especially around schools zones.
With many newly licensed teen drivers resuming their daily commutes to high school or college, now is the perfect time for everyone to review safe driving rules: both adults and teens. This is an important conversation that parents must have with their teen.

Parents can play a vital role in reducing the risk of a teen car crash by taking advantage of the time they have at home, and speaking with their teens about driving safety. Parents should not take anything for granted, make no assumptions, and expect the unexpected when it comes to their teens’ driving behaviors. This is a crucial time for education, awareness and smart decision making.

Pedestrian-vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury and death among teenagers; with the risk of crashes highest among teens 16 to 19 years old. The Community Parent Center offers these teen safe driving tips for the back to school season and throughout the year:
• Limiting how much they drive in high-risk situations (at night, on weekends, in bad weather)
• Limiting the number of passengers permitted in the car
• Prohibiting alcohol or other drug use
• Banning use of cell phones and all other electronics devices
• Making sure that seatbelts are always worn by the driver and all passengers

Parents are the most important influence on their teen when it comes to risky behaviors and driving. Be a positive role model for your teen driver. It’s hard to convince your teen driver to engage in safe driving practices, like wearing a seat belt, obeying the speed limit or turning off the cell phone, if you are not also demonstrating these behaviors.

Please continue to practice social distancing to keep your family healthy and safe during the COVID -19 pandemic; and help keep your teen driver safe on the roads by following the suggestions offered.
Be Well and Stay Safe.

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