Margate Police Chief Matthew Hankinson posted an advisory on the Police Department’s Facebook page Friday encouraging residents and visitors to have a safe 4th of July weekend. He asks everyone – walkers, bikers, beachgoers, motorists and young people – to be vigilant when moving about the busy city, crossing streets and practicing social distancing.
Here’s his letter to the public:
As the 4th of July weekend for 2020 begins, and we gather for a holiday unlike any other in recent memory, lets all take a moment to ensure we all have a SAFE holiday weekend.
When walking around town remember to be aware of vehicles and realize that drivers this weekend are seeing people and bikes at every angle. Look both ways before crossing the street, keep your eyes up and off your cell phone, and remember that being safe and uninjured is a lot more important than being right about if a vehicle should have seen you from a few blocks away.
Bicyclists, remember that with your increased speed comes decreased ability for a vehicle to react to your actions. Make sure to use extra caution at intersections and keep as far to the right of the roadway as possible.
When driving, make sure to keep your eyes on the road and away from distractions. Everybody, in and out of their vehicles, is navigating the crowded town and dealing with distractions, children, etc. Please obey the speed limit, come to a complete stop at all stop signs, and err on the side of caution every time.
Down on our wonderful beaches make sure to leave plenty of room for others and follow all lifeguard directions. Be aware of personal space and remember that some people are on the beach to relax, and others are down for a celebration. Be respectful and everybody can have a great time.
Parents, while your kids may want to go out with their friends, we have seen large crowds of teens around town the past few days that are directly against the best public health practices. We understand how tough being cooped up can be, but these large gatherings are dangerous from both a public health perspective and for the teens. The large groups have been blocking vehicles in parking lots and extending into busy streets where drivers have trouble seeing them. The last thing we want to do is tell a parent any bad news about their child, so please have them hang with friends at homes in smaller groups.
I hope everybody has a safe and Happy 4th of July weekend! We’re here if you need us 24/7. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 609-822-1151 or 911 if you have an emergency.