Police to enforce safe driving at South

By Rutul Patel
Published: September 2010

To protect drivers and pedestrians, the Newton Parent Advisory Council has been working with Intervention Prevention Counselor Rich Catrambone and Officer John Panica, South’s liaison to the Newton Police Department (NPD), to set up a directive patrols system.
“There will be officers around the school on both ends, Catrambone said. “We worked with [NPD traffic director] Captain Minz to work out a strategy. The directive patrol officers will notify drivers of the particular laws around the school and the consequences of breaking them.
“People aren’t supposed to be driving over the limit or around the back of the school. This puts other people at risk, and we are [concerned] about the safety of the kids, Catrambone said.
All these preparations and precautions are being exercised for the younger drivers on the streets, as parents and teachers worry that reckless driving may put students in danger.
Special education teacher Cherylann Salvucii, who recently witnessed a truck hit a tree on Brandeis Road, toppling the tree, is concerned that younger drivers may not be prepared to react to unforeseen obstacles while speeding.
“I see the cars passing by, and I worry that kids who just zoom by aren’t going to be thinking about oncoming traffic, special education teacher Cherylann Salvucci said.
“This isn’t a ‘Ëœgotcha’ situation. We just want it as a safety precaution, Principal Joel Stembridge said.
More and more students, finding driving useful to their everyday lives, are driving now than before. “It’s very convenient [to be able to drive]. I can go home in free blocks, or to after school activities, junior Erin Pinta said. However, with the newer drivers come more traffic and fewer parking spaces. “We [may] have to park on Brandeis Road, where there are a lot of possibilities for illegal parking, junior Mary Testa said.
Moreover, with recent driving troubles such as the fender bender in the teacher’s parking lot or last year’s toppled street lamp, the large number of new drivers may be a cause for alarm.
“The more obstacles there are for students to manage, the more dangerous it can become- especially for new drivers, Stembridge said. “[The increased number of students driving] is not unusual for us¦ I just hope that students realize that slowing down and being late is a lot better than going too fast and having something dangerous happen.
The students, however, believe themselves to be good enough drivers to abide by the laws and remain safe. “I feel very comfortable behind the wheel, and I’m even more [cautious] when I’m around other student drivers, junior Charlie Temkin said.
“I’m also comfortable, Pinta said. “I don’t use my phone or any other distractions while I’m driving. It’s not worth the risk.

Read more

Like it? Share it!


Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.