Sunday cartoon: Slow down, move over Rhode Island

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BURRILLVILLE – Every day, Rhode Island State Troopers, police officers, firefighters and first responders put their lives at risk doing their jobs out on our roadways and highways trying to keep us safer.

State troopers and police officers put themselves in harm’s way every time they exit their vehicle, whether it is working roadwork details protecting others at job sites, or traffic stops. They are vulnerable to injury and even death resulting from drivers not paying attention to their surroundings and driving recklessly.

I’m on the road a lot, and believe me when I tell you; it’s tough out there for state troopers and police officers just doing their jobs. The same thing goes for first responders, utility workers, state workers, tow truck operators, road maintenance workers and transportation vehicle employees. Drivers need to slow down and move over whenever they see flashing red, blue or amber lights on the road ahead of them to help keep anyone on the roadways, as well themselves, safer. Most of the time, though not always, these lights will be seen flashing on the right hand side of the roadway.

Slow down, then move over and avoid a collision. It’s a Rhode Island State Law to do so, but it’s also your responsibility as a safe driver to do this as well.

These coloring posters will be handed out to kids soon at upcoming car shows and cruise nights, as well as available at participating gas stations and establishments across the state of Rhode Island, reminding families to help keep Rhode Island State Troopers and police officers safer on our roadways. I have been working alongside law enforcement for more than two decades creating award-winning traffic safety campaigns such as The Buckleupallofus Buckle Up Hotline, bringing corporate America partners to the table with the Rhode Island State Police, and featuring my child passenger safety mascot image, message and hotline phone number, which appear as bumper stickers displayed on every Rhode Island State Police vehicle. Other police departments also participated with this campaign.

Providence police officers utilized Bucky handouts as educational and awareness materials related to child passenger and traffic safety outreach efforts for years. Many other cities, towns and communities invited me to come visit their grade school students, libraries and daycares to talk about child safety with police officers and firefighters. I still attend these kids safety visits today. I also provided Hasbro Children’s Hospital ER, waiting area, activity room and patients rooms with hundreds of child safety coloring calendars and products every month with my “Seasons Of Safety” Coloring Campaign for ten consecutive years for free until ending due to the Covid epidemic.

I now have Bucky car seat check up events scheduled with Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital this year, starting in May at the Warwick Mall. I also co-founded Rhode Island Safe Kids Coalition, Providence Safe Communities, initiated the Injury-Prevention Division at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and other popular safety campaigns. All of them have received awards from federal, state and local government agencies. My Buckleupallofus Click-it-or-Ticket campaign started in the town of Burrillville as an exit billboard at the high school, and expanded nationwide sponsored by MetLife Insurance and Midas Mufflers. My The Safe And The Serious and Buckleupallofus Child Passenger Safety campaigns followed shortly after, and are utilized by police and fire departments across America today in hundreds of cities and towns, It keeps expanding with requests and usage permission from mayors, public safety directors, state troopers and police departments wanting to use a campaign with a proven track record of success. AAA has featured front page articles and photos along with police department data, proving these safety campaigns work.

Look for the “Slow Down…Move Over, Rhode Island” coloring posters this summer. TSATS and Buckleupallofus safety coloring posters will not only be available in Rhode Island this year. Massachusetts and Connecticut are following this state’s lead when it comes to community outreach efforts with a creative flair for effective traffic safety messages and graphics for kids and families.

Remember, “Drive Safe, Drive Serious!” 

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