EASTCHESTER, N.Y. - As schools around Westchester enter the first full week of classes, the Eastchester Police Department is warning motorists to use extra caution when navigating the roads.
Police Officer John Yanni joined local school children this week to help AAA New York launch its 67th annual “School’s Open – Drive Carefully” campaign at Eastchester police headquarters on Mill Road.
The officers will be mounting colorful signs throughout the village warning “School’s Open” to encourage safe driving as thousands of children head back to school.
“The help we get from our club-area police departments adds to the effectiveness of our ‘School’s Open’ program,” Donna Galasso, assistant director of AAA New York’s Traffic Safety unit, said in a statement. “We appreciate the efforts of Officer Yanni, which will result in increased safety for all students.”
Throughout the state, AAA will distribute nearly 4,000 posters to remind drivers there are children and school buses flooding the streets every September. The posters will be displayed at major intersections, business districts and school crossings. Some 14,000 bumper stickers with the same message also will be circulated.
Eastchester Police Lt. Robert Jensen said the department participates in the program annually to promote awareness and safety.
“The whole point is to put out extra signs, and make people aware that school is open and there are going to be kids on the street,” he said. “It’s standard for us to do this every year. We make adjustments each year, depending on different traffic patterns in the district.”
Drivers and bicyclists must be “especially cautious in school areas, keeping their speed at or below posted limits,” Galasso said. “Be prepared to stop, on both sides of the street, for school buses with flashing red lights and stop signs – as is required by New York State law.”