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Rye PD Warns of Dangers to Longboard “Thrill Seekers”

In the letter to the community this week, Rye PD warned of dangers to longboard "thrill seekers" and urged the boarders and their parents to be aware of the manage the risks associated with boarding.

Last June, Councilman Joe Sack warned about about the "skateboard problem".

Here is the Rye PD letter. What do you think? Leave a comment below.

April 16, 2012

To the Rye School Community:

As warm weather approaches, outdoor activity increases. In the coming weeks, our children will take to the streets on foot, on bicycles, on scooters, and on the latest incarnation of the skateboard – the “longboard.”

We would like to take the opportunity, as we often do, to remind the community to be observant as we make the seasonal transition into summer. Children need to be careful on whatever form of transport they choose, especially to avoid the hazard we now call “distracted walking.” Drivers need to use an even higher level of caution as pedestrian traffic increases, to obey traffic regulations, and to avoid distracted driving; that text message or telephone call can wait.

This year we appeal in particular to our community’s longboarders and their parents. Longboards are legal, but they are considered vehicles and are subject to the same basic laws as bicycles. Boarders must ride on the right side of the road, single file, with traffic. They must obey traffic control devices. Riders under fourteen years of age are required to wear helmets – and riders of any age should.

While some young people use the longboard as a means of transportation, many are thrill seekers who use the boards in more dangerous ways. While we encourage the use of the skate park at Rye Recreation, officers have seen terribly risky behavior elsewhere, such as: performing tricks on Purchase Street; clinging to vehicles; riding in the dark while wearing dark clothing; weaving across roadways; blocking streets to ride downhill, often regardless of traffic lights or traffic from cross streets; sitting in the middle of a street, back to traffic, watching friends ride; and riding downhill in a prone position, like an Olympic luger, after dark. No doubt many residents have witnessed similar activity.

The Police Department has an obligation to do whatever we can to protect our young people, as well as to address the many complaints we receive from residents when dangerous and disturbing behavior occurs. We ask for the cooperation of young boarders; please ride safely and responsibly, mindful of your safety as well as the impact of your riding on others. We also ask for parents’ cooperation; please instruct your children on the importance of safe riding and monitor their activities insofar as possible. Most importantly, in many cases the only option for police officers when dealing with boarders who endanger themselves or others is to confiscate their boards. Please understand that the officers are acting in your children’s best interests when they do so, so we ask that you support their efforts and join the officers in attempting to make a “teachable moment” out of the event when retrieving your children’s boards. We share the same goal: the safety of your children.

We cannot prevent all accidents, nor can we guarantee that children will always make wise choices. But by making them aware of the legal consequences, the potential hazards, and the responsibilities associated with their actions – and by working together to guide them in the right direction – we can maximize their safety.

Thank you in advance for your assistance. We look forward to a safe and successful Spring and Summer.

Very truly yours,

William R. Connors
Police Commissioner

8 COMMENTS

  1. I strongly agree with this article as I witness this dangerous behavior all too often, it is just a matter of time!

    Commissioner,
    Now that you have “publically” stated many things you have repeatedly been asked to address hopefully you will take the time to take your foot out of your mouth and spring into action!

    You hit the nail on the head with the word “OBLIGATION”….SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

    “The Police Department has an obligation to do whatever we can to protect our young people, as well as to address the many complaints we receive from residents when dangerous and disturbing behavior occurs”.
    “We share the same goal: the safety of your children”.
    “by working together to guide them in the right direction – we can maximize their safety”.

  2. @Jim Amico
    “it is just a matter of time!”
    Yes it is, Jim. It always will be just a matter of time. That will never change for any living thing on this planet. The question is, what will you DO with that time before it runs out? Should we spend that time living in FEAR or should we spend it enjoying what life has to offer? Do we want our kids playing video games so they are safer or do we want them outside using Long Boards getting exercise? Do we want them playing football or should we keep them inside because they may paralyze themselves on the football field? Do we let them outside to get bit by mosquitoes ( “flying hypodermic needles” as the Ryerecord called them ) and possibly contract West Nile, or do we keep them inside and shrink wrap them to their beds so they don’t get hurt? I know you’re answer will be” let them outside and play but, they need to obey the rules or they’re gonna get hurt!”
    And there is the real problem, Jim. They’re not obeying the rules because they have no respect for the rules. They have no respect for the rules because they have no respect for the people who make them. The kids have no respect for the people who make them because adults like you have no respect for the people who make them either. The kids watch what the adults in this town do and they learn fast. The kids see that the adults in this town think it’s cool to comment that the Police Commissioner should ” take the time to take your foot out of your mouth”. The kids see that it’s cool to put he City Council on toilet bowls on the side of the Flotie Mobile for all in Rye to see. Have you ever publicly condemned that? Have you ever spoke out about the disrespect contained in the public discourse in this town which Jay Sears labels as “Always a crowd pleaser”? The kids see it’s cool to disrespect community members of authority at the Council meetings with accusations and vitriol. They see adults get up at Council Meetings and talk to the Mayor and the Council like they’re pieces of crap. We even have a 23 YO filing a lawsuit against the City manager now. Was that whole episode really necessary? What is John Carey teaching our kids? Do you think the kids are not watching? Do you not think if a 23 YO kid is involved in a lawsuit against the City Manager there will not be teenagers watching what is going on? And please don’t tell me respect is a two way street, I’m perfectly aware of that . Are we teaching our kids that if we feel we’re not being treated with respect it’s OK to act the same way in return? Is that what we’re teaching our kids? Jim, there is more to the safety and upbringing of our children than a stop sign. The long boarders are doing exactly what they’ve learned from the adults in this community. They are disrespecting the people in positions of authority. Why should we expect the kids in this town to respect people of authority and the rules they make when the adults in this town don’t respect them either? Monkey see, Monkey do. It’s as simple as that when it comes to kids.

  3. The only one’s who “respect” corrupt public officials – are those who seek to emulate them.

    Remember one simple thing please – Mr. Phony Name – the meeting was not recorded.

  4. @Just a Matter,
    ” Jim, there is more to the safety and upbringing of our children than a stop sign”.

    No kidding sherlock….but I am pretty sure that a group of kids longboarding in the middle of Hillside isn’t safe!!!

    When did you get the impression from me that only “stop signs” will keep our kids safe?

    As much as you would like to put all the blame on the parents that is just not true!!

    My daughter does not walk around disrespecting her elders regardless of my actions, I have taught her better!!

    My daughter does not play in the roadways, I have taught her better!!

    In closing, you obviously have no clue what I am all about, if you did you would not be making pathetic statements like this one…”Jim, there is more to the safety and upbringing of our children than a stop sign”.

  5. @Just A Matter- The requested investigation of lying to the Rye City Council and the residents of Rye by the Rye City Manager and the Rye TV Access Coordinator is not about Andrew Dapolite, Joe Sack, Doug French or even about our “Residents Don’t Care” Councilman Filippi. It is about the alleged lying and cover-up by City Manager Scott Pickup, and Rye TV Access Coordinator Nicole Levitsky, to the residents of Rye and instructing an employee to lie. City personnel are employees of the Rye residents and in the private sector lying to your employer is grounds for disciplinary actions including termination of employment. Andrew Dapolite, putting his job on the line, brought this issue to the attention of the Rye residents through his chain of command, including the Rye City Council. Hopefully, the residents of Rye support Andrew and commend him for his ethics and his desire to fight for Open Government. Is it really true, that expressed by Councilman Filippi, we really don’t care? Is this the example we wish to set for our children, that lying is OK? I would hope that we support Andrew Dapolite’s efforts and demand that our elected officials investigate this issue and not just wear the public out by delegating this responsibility to others and refusing to take ownership. A 23 year old put his job on the line to fight for what he thinks is right. Are we, who should be setting an example for our youth, going to sit back and condone the lying of Rye City employees to us, the residents of Rye? #theoldrye

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In the letter to the community this week, Rye PD warned of dangers to longboard "thrill seekers" and urged the boarders and their parents to be aware of the manage the risks associated with boarding.

Last June, Councilman Joe Sack warned about about the "skateboard problem".

Here is the Rye PD letter. What do you think? Leave a comment below.

April 16, 2012

To the Rye School Community:

As warm weather approaches, outdoor activity increases. In the coming weeks, our children will take to the streets on foot, on bicycles, on scooters, and on the latest incarnation of the skateboard – the “longboard.”

We would like to take the opportunity, as we often do, to remind the community to be observant as we make the seasonal transition into summer. Children need to be careful on whatever form of transport they choose, especially to avoid the hazard we now call “distracted walking.” Drivers need to use an even higher level of caution as pedestrian traffic increases, to obey traffic regulations, and to avoid distracted driving; that text message or telephone call can wait.

This year we appeal in particular to our community’s longboarders and their parents. Longboards are legal, but they are considered vehicles and are subject to the same basic laws as bicycles. Boarders must ride on the right side of the road, single file, with traffic. They must obey traffic control devices. Riders under fourteen years of age are required to wear helmets – and riders of any age should.

While some young people use the longboard as a means of transportation, many are thrill seekers who use the boards in more dangerous ways. While we encourage the use of the skate park at Rye Recreation, officers have seen terribly risky behavior elsewhere, such as: performing tricks on Purchase Street; clinging to vehicles; riding in the dark while wearing dark clothing; weaving across roadways; blocking streets to ride downhill, often regardless of traffic lights or traffic from cross streets; sitting in the middle of a street, back to traffic, watching friends ride; and riding downhill in a prone position, like an Olympic luger, after dark. No doubt many residents have witnessed similar activity.

The Police Department has an obligation to do whatever we can to protect our young people, as well as to address the many complaints we receive from residents when dangerous and disturbing behavior occurs. We ask for the cooperation of young boarders; please ride safely and responsibly, mindful of your safety as well as the impact of your riding on others. We also ask for parents’ cooperation; please instruct your children on the importance of safe riding and monitor their activities insofar as possible. Most importantly, in many cases the only option for police officers when dealing with boarders who endanger themselves or others is to confiscate their boards. Please understand that the officers are acting in your children’s best interests when they do so, so we ask that you support their efforts and join the officers in attempting to make a “teachable moment” out of the event when retrieving your children’s boards. We share the same goal: the safety of your children.

We cannot prevent all accidents, nor can we guarantee that children will always make wise choices. But by making them aware of the legal consequences, the potential hazards, and the responsibilities associated with their actions – and by working together to guide them in the right direction – we can maximize their safety.

Thank you in advance for your assistance. We look forward to a safe and successful Spring and Summer.

Very truly yours,

William R. Connors
Police Commissioner