By MICHAEL NUNES
SOUTH RIVER – Students at South River High School joined members of the South River Police Department in telling drivers in the borough one thing: slow down.
“We had some concerns in some residential areas regarding speeders, so we did some research and came across this Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 campaign,” said Mario Pinto, a borough police officer who helped organize the May 18 event.
Around a dozens students stood along a section of Main Street wearing black outfits and donning white makeup on their faces, holding up signs imploring drivers to stick to the speed limit.
“What we wanted to do is, prevention through education. That is key with any of our community outreach programs, so we wanted to do something new, something different,” Pinto said, adding that the department has received complaints from several residents throughout the borough involving drivers breaking the speed limit.
For students who joined in the initiative, the goal is to help keep their communities safe and lessen the chance of an accident happening close to home.
“We want to raise awareness for people who drive too fast, especially me because I live on a road in which there are a lot of kids who play on the street,” said Brendan Oliveira, a sophomore at the high school.
For Pinto, he hopes this new initiative will encourage drivers to not only obey the speed limit but also to keep an eye out for pedestrians.
“We would rather spend the two or three hours here with the kids bringing awareness versus being out here on an accident scene when a pedestrian has been hit,” he said.
Founded in 1998, Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help eliminate unsafe driving practices through educating motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.