Safety First, Fun Second

by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

Who is responsible for your safety? The answer is simple enough, but lately I’ve observed that many people believe “it is the other person”. Not so. Maybe I’m just a “worry wart” as the old expression use to be to describe someone that worries over everything, and in some case unnecessarily. I even worry over people I don’t know when I see them doing something unsafe. What I have noticed is that when people are on vacation or exploring new areas, they tend to forget or overlook many of the safety practices they might do when they are home. Here’s what I have constantly observed this summer. See if any of these things may apply to you or a family member that needs reminding to refrain from such activities.

Probably the most common site is to see people walking while looking down at their phone either reading a text or sending one. If you have spent time in Montauk walking around town, you know that there are no traffic lights. This means it is up to both the driver and the pedestrian to be mindful of each other and watch was is going on in all directions. One time my husband saw a woman walking across main street, pushing a stroller with a small child inside of it. This woman did not look left or right after she stepped off the curb, instead she continued to text looking down at her phone! What if some driver was looking for a parking space, glancing at the stores to see where to eat and was not paying attention either? Why leave your safety up to other people, hoping they are attentive drivers? Another time I watched a helmetless young teen boy riding his bike on a main road, passing a side street intersection without looking because he was also looking at his phone! Speaking of bike riding, I can’t believe how many people are riding around without a helmet on, even on Rt 27, going at high speeds. The same thing goes for skate boarders without helmets. A bit of a compliment has to be extended to parents that have helmets on their young children, but the parents neglect to have one on their head. What sense does that make that parents, the child’s caregivers and protectors, are not making sure they will be around longer to see the child grow up? A severe head injury could either paralyze or be fatal. We have a cousin that likes to go into New York City to shop or visit the museums and often asks me to join her. On one of these visits she saw bike riders zipping in and out of traffic, not wearing a helmet and related to me her opinion on this dangerous practice. Whenever a person passed us without a helmet, she’d say to me softly “organ donor”. What a creepy thought, but it hits home on the chances people are taking with their lives.

TICKS! Lastly, but certainly not least, is what I’ve seen some biker riders do when they are taking a rest. We’ve driven along the roadways and have seen people resting in the grass, taking a break. Without using a blanket, they are sitting in tall grass and wearing shorts and tee shirts. With all the warnings about the dangers of ticks and getting Lyme disease I think this is surely taking chances. Perhaps some visitors either live in the city or come from areas where ticks are not a problem and are unaware of the problem. So, whether it is an adult or children walking through the high grass by the back of the sandy beach area, this is not a good practice at all. Vacations and mini getaways are fun for people to explore, investigate new areas and enjoy a relaxing time they have planned. But making sure the return home is without incident only takes a bit of caution and being mindful of habits that could be disastrous.