Blind Brook schools Superintendent William J. Stark sent an alert home to his parents early this afternoon reminding them that texting while driving is illegal in New York and to prod them to put the phones down, especially during drop-off and pick-up times.
It wasn’t sparked by anything in particular, he said; just that people have noticed more and more parents on their phones and possibly not paying as much attention as they should to traffic patterns and moving people.
“No one has been injured, which is a good thing,” he said. “This is the same thing that has prompted letters and statements of this nature across the country because of the frequency with which people find themselves texting while they’re driving, which is a very dangerous thing in normal circumstances. At dismissal time … under the best of circumstances, a parking lot (has) 500 or more kids running and parents moving around. We’ve been lucky. One of the ways you change things is you become pro-active.”
Stark said he hoped the message would get people talking and encourage parents to police themselves in the parking lots. Noting that New York has its “if you see something, say something” policy in place, he said he hoped if someone saw a parent in the lot texting, that they’d say something.
“It’s sort of a culture, the ‘glaring of the eye’,” he said. “You don’t want to be embarrassed by another parent. This is that reminder (that) we’re all part of a community and we want to make sure our kids are safe.”