Sunday cartoon: Holiday travels


BURRILLVILLE – It’s Christmastime, and that means a lot of hustle and bustle happening across the state, region and nationwide.

I’ve witnessed many vehicles out-and-about recently that surpass the everyday traveling I see when I’m on the road myself. Shopping centers, malls, plazas and grocery stores are packed with holiday shoppers, and there are many vehicles with little kids riding along inside those vehicles. Not all of them are properly restrained in booster seats or seatbelts. Some children younger than 12-years-old are actually riding up front in passenger seats. It’s not safe, especially considering the fact that traffic is worse now than any other time of the year.

I’ve witnessed vehicles colliding in parking lots and on the roadways. When it comes to busy parking lots, please slow down and watch for children. I see drivers speeding through busy parking lots constantly – and not just this time of year. I see it way too often throughout the year.

One of the most important messages I can convey this time of year when it comes to holiday season driving is: Boost Up! Buckle Up! Please properly restrain infants in a rear-facing car seat in the backseat.

Other important vehicle and traffic safety messages during the busy holiday season would include:

  • Never leave a child alone in a vehicle. Bring your child or children with you when you exit your vehicle. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. It’s not safe.
  • Never leave the vehicle running with the heater on.
  • Drive slowly and safely.
  • Pay attention to the road and parking lots.
  • Watch for children.
  • Never leave a child alone in your car or truck.
  • Always properly restrain children in the backseat of your vehicle.

Have a safe and happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas!

Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. Weicherding contributes kids’ coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children. He has a long list of police officers and firefighters in his family and has worked with law enforcement and firefighters in a creative public safety capacity for more than two decades.

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