Monday, March 9, 2015

Stay Safe During Spring Break

The arrival of spring break means more kids are out of school and families have more time to recreate together and enjoy the outdoors.

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.

Kids and families will be flocking to the beaches and additional deputies will be patrolling those areas.

In addition, CCSO will be stepping up foot patrols in all of its 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 fun activities in a safe environment while engaging kids in positive relationships with law enforcement:

Activities include Junior Deputy Camp, which gives Collier County fifth-grade students the opportunity to “camp out” at the Florida Sports Park each day through Thursday.

Collier fourth-graders will also take part in the annual CCSO Junior Deputy Day at the Collier County Fairgrounds, where they will be treated to an entire morning at the fair followed by lunch. The children are chaperoned by CCSO youth relations 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 bring anything you would hate to lose such as expensive jewelry.

* 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.


It’s not just outdoors where parents need to worry about their child’s safety over spring break. Kids can face dangers without ever leaving their home if they spend any time online, where predators and bullies can lurk.

* 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 talked to online.

* Protect passwords.

* Communicate responsibly.


If you are younger than 21 and your spring break plans include spirits like alcohol, consider this: Underage drinking is against the law.

* 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 those who are below the legal drinking age with alcohol. Commercial servers such as bars, restaurants, stores and non-commercial servers may not furnish alcohol to those who are under 21.