Letter: Alderman offers suggestions on staying safe
To the Editor:
Several things come to mind as we reach the end of summer. Many of you have taken to the streets to walk during this Covid-19 crisis and I applaud everyone for finding a way to safely exercise outdoors. This brings up the simple safety protocols of all walkers and the cars on the road. These are some old, well-understood methods of keeping everyone safe.
As the days get shorter the walkers and drivers should remember to be more vigilant when it is darker outside. Drivers should slow when passing walkers and give oncoming traffic the courtesy of passing first to protect the walkers. The walkers should remember to walk facing traffic. That little tidbit of caution should be easy to understand. The other important factor is for walkers to wear bright-colored clothing and if possible carry a flashlight when it becomes dark. In general, and I mean everyone, we do drive much too fast, which is the cause of more than 80 percent of accidents. Drivers become unable to control the vehicle in an emergency situation. Shelton PD has posted speed check meters on some of our most traveled roads. Please note them and be aware of your speed. Your safety, those in your vehicle and anyone on the roadway, bikers, walkers or even skateboarders are in danger when you speed.
That brings me to another safety issue that has from time to time come up. We as a city have had numerous car break-ins at personal residences. They usually happen in the early morning hours. The felons are normally from neighboring cities and use Route 8 for their escape route. Please lock your vehicles that are not in a secure garage. And just as importantly, don’t leave tempting items to steal exposed in your cars. They will break windows to get what is yours. Laptops, money, phones, tools, electronic toys, briefcases and packages are what they are looking for and when left on the seat of your car or in the center console, they will not be stopped. Right now, I have been told, the upper Huntington area has been targeted for these break-ins.
I have seen several videos from my neighbor’s homes where even when security lights go on these very bold young men will ignore the light and continue to try the handles on the cars to enter a vehicle, but please still turn on your security lights and cameras for added safety. If you see suspicious vehicles in the neighborhood, take note of them, the time, make, model, color of the vehicle and license plate number. Especially of work vans that do not have signage on them. If you feel safe, stop and ask them why they are in the neighborhood. Being proactive is always to everyone’s advantage, and call Shelton PD if you don’t feel safe.
Members of the Board of Aldermen receive many calls regarding building issues, citizens’ bad behavior and many other things that are happening in the city and as elected officials we want to direct everyone to find the answer to questions/problems and/or the proper person or department to speak with. I have received numerous calls, as have other members of the board, about quads on city roads. I completely understand the wow factor in riding these off-road vehicles and thank those who are careful and transport them to properties where they can be operated without putting others at risk. There are stringent laws about the operation of quads. The riders can be very crass, swearing at people, and destructive, running up onto private property or frightening drivers with their loud exhaust, etc. Quad drivers are normally under age and not aware of or don’t care about the dangers of operating on city streets. They should be mindful of the following. Quads are simply not allowed on city streets. The penalty if a person is caught on a city road is a fine and the quad is taken. The quad will not be returned and sold at auction. It will be physically destroyed. Let’s be very sure to understand that the police should be called when there is any disruption on a city street by quad drivers. Police will use the information to track quads and hopefully make arrests and confiscate them in the future. At no time will police endanger the quad driver, the public or themselves or their vehicle by chasing a quad. That is smart police work and protects the everyone including the city.
I hope everyone is enjoying the end of the summer, prepping for the new school experience until we can secure a vaccine for COVID-19 and being good neighbors.
Anthony F. Simonetti