Friday, March 8, 2013

Stay Safe During Spring Break

No more pencils and no more books… Well, at least for a week.

The arrival of spring break means more kids are out of school and families have some quality time to spend with one another.

That’s why the Collier County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents and visitors how to stay safe while on the roads, at the beach or on a boat or a bike in the Southwest Florida sunshine.

Spring break for students in Collier County public schools is March 11-15.

Deputies will be stepping up foot patrols in all of our districts, with a focus on residential areas and places that teens tend to concentrate such as shopping malls, movie theaters and fast food restaurants.

CCSO has several activities planned for kids during spring break. The focus will be providing students with fun activities in a safe environment while fostering positive relationships with law enforcement.

Nearly 1,300 fifth-grade students will “camp out’ over spring break at the CCSO Junior Deputy Camp, scheduled for March 11 to March 14. The free four-day camp offers many fun activities including games, rock wall climbing and fishing, while serving as a great opportunity for children to interact with deputies.

CCSO’s Junior Deputy Day at the Collier County Fairgrounds is March 16. More than 2,700 fourth-graders will take part in the annual event, which treats youngsters to an entire morning at the fair followed by lunch. The children will be chaperoned by CCSO Youth Relations Bureau deputies and other CCSO members.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office also offers these tips for staying safe:


* If you’re traveling by car, always buckle up. Florida law requires front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt. In addition, all passengers under 18 years old must wear a seat belt or be otherwise restrained by a child car seat.
* It’s also important to avoid distractions. Activities like eating, drinking and talking on a cell phone or text-messaging while driving can take your attention off the road.


* Always have enough life jackets for everyone on board.
* Always have a designated boat operator who is not consuming alcohol. It is unlawful to have a blood alcohol level above 0.08 while operating a boat.
* It’s also important to follow all boating laws and watch out for swimmers and other vessels. And always let someone back on land know where you’ll be boating and what time to expect your return.


* Don’t leave valuables such cell phones, cameras or iPods unattended.
* Always lock your car doors and stow valuables out of sight.


* Check your tires, brakes and chain before you go for a ride.
* Always wear a helmet and make sure it's fastened.
* Obey the rules of the road. Bikers must stop at stop signs and traffic signals and indicate when they're turning, just like drivers.
* Remember to lock your bike and keep it in a safe place when you're not riding it.


* Never give out your real name, where you live, where you go to school or other personal information over the Internet.
* Don’t agree to meet anyone you’ve met online.
* Protect passwords.
* Communicate responsibly.


* In Florida, anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from possessing alcohol. Those under 21 are also prohibited from purchasing or attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages.
* Florida law also prohibits furnishing alcohol to those who are below the legal drinking age. Commercial servers such as bars, restaurants, stores and non-commercial servers may not furnish alcohol to those who are under 21.

Deputies will be on the lookout during spring break to curtail underage drinking by monitoring beaches, convenience stores and restaurants/bars.