It was Friday. And the young boy was already thinking about the weekend. He sped across the intersection on his bike. If he saw the van, it was already too late. He would never make it home from school. Thirty minutes later he was dead.
That boy was my student.
A jarring start to this holiday season it has been, but a necessary reminder of how precious our time with family, friends, and neighbors is. Let's stay safe together.
1. Look both ways before you cross the street. Don't talk on your phone. Pay attention to the traffic!
2. Make eye contact with the driver of the car that is turning. Make sure they see you before you cross in front.
3. Using earplugs or headphones will handicap your ability to hear danger coming.
4. Use a safety vest or carry a flashlight if you walk a lot at night.
5. If a situation looks suspicious, leave the area immediately.
1. Don't drink and drive. Don't text and drive.
2. Be patient. The extra holiday traffic will make all your trips longer.
1. Shop during the daylight hours as much as you can.
2. Watch out for pickpockets and purse-snatchers.
3. Walk to your car with your purse and bags facing toward the parked cars and not toward the street. Criminals cruise the parking lot with their windows down to grab bags from shoppers.
4. If someone asks for a dollar, be aware that they might skateboard away with your entire wallet instead.
1. Call 9-1-1 for medical help, fires, and crimes in progress.
2. For non-emergencies in Los Angeles, call 877-ASK-LAPD (877-275-5273). Non-emergencies includes loud parties, drunk in public, and loitering.
1. The holidays are stressful. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep.
2. Take as many breaks as you need.
3. Don't feel pressured to do all the holiday things. Don't overspend.
4. Stay hydrated.
5. Stay warm.