Bicycles parked Darien Railroad Station Darien Train Station Bikes 09-18-17

Police: Please Walk, Jog and Ride Safely — Here Are the Rules, Here’s How to Follow Them

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With more Darien residents walking, jogging, cycling, driving and otherwise using the town streets and sidewalks during the COVID-19 crisis, town police have become more concerned about people staying safe and avoiding accidents. After all: A hospital is definitely one place you’d rather not be right now, if you can avoid it. So the Police Department on Monday issued some information on what the rules of the road are. “If everyone follows these basic and reasonable rules, roadways users can safely co-exist,” the announcement said. “Please, take an extra minute or two and consider giving “the other guy” an additional margin of safety and distance.”

Winter Train Railroad Metro-North Snow Tracks

NEWS FLASH! Wintry Weather Makes Getting Around More Dangerous — Quick Tips to Review

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No, it isn’t news that winter weather makes it more dangerous to get around, and in general, you know you need to be more careful driving, walking or even taking the train in bad weather. And you’ve probably been amazed at some of the people who don’t get that. But it might be a good idea to take a minute to quickly review some tips to make sure you don’t look like some of those people. Here’s what the AAA and Metro-North say:
Driving Tips from AAA Northeast
From an AAA Northeast announcement:
Forecasters are predicting a messy afternoon and evening commute today with snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain. Here are some reminders from AAA Northeast about driving in winter conditions:

Take the time to clear snow and ice from your vehicle.

Winter driving photo from AAA

AAA: About 46% of Bad-Weather Crashes Are in Winter, With 2,000 Deaths

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Dangerous winter storms, bad weather and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The foundation has suggestions for driving and how to prepare in case you get into a winter crash. — an announcement from AAA Northeast; infographics from AAA Newsroom Web pages
About 46 percent of all crashes involving bad weather take place in the winter. AAA encourages drivers to be vigilant when hitting the road this winter and to always stay prepared by carrying an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle. “Winter weather is forecast for this weekend, and there are a disproportionate number of crashes this time of year involving bad weather and winter storms,” said Alec Slatky, AAA Northeast director of public and government affairs.

An image of a fawn deer (Odocoileus species) cropped down to put more focus on the fawn itself. This version: minor (levels) edit of orig pic by Elfer

AAA: The Time You’re Most Likely to Hit a Deer Is NOW Thru December: Here’s How to Avoid It

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The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) estimates there were more than 4,000 deer strikes in Connecticut last year, most of which went unreported. In fact, October, November and December – deer mating season — are the peak months for crashes in the Nutmeg State, according to a AAA Northeast crash data analysis, with more than three-quarters of the crashes occurring between outside daylight hours. Deer crashes are most prevalent weekdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., during the evening rush. — an announcement from AAA Northeast, this region’s affiliate of the American Automobile Association

“Drivers need to be especially vigilant at dusk,” says Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast’s spokeswoman. “Deer present dangers to you, to your vehicle, and to themselves so it behooves everyone to be prepared since such crashes can be costly, even deadly.”

According to the UCONN Crash Data repository, deer strikes contributed to fatal crashes in each of the past two years.

Federal Trade Commission: ‘Change Your Twitter Password. Now.’

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You may have heard the recent news that Twitter discovered a bug that stored passwords “unmasked” in an internal log. What does this mean? If you are a Twitter user, your password could be exposed. Twitter says that there are no signs of a breach or misuse by anyone currently, but it’s still a good idea to change your password. Did you use the same password for other accounts?

Noroton Heights Fire Department engine

Police: Shed Engulfed in Flames After Ashes From a Fire Pit Placed Inside

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After ashes from a fire pit were put in a shed on the property of a house on Alpine Lane, the shed caught on fire late Saturday night. No one was injured, and Noroton Heights Fire Department firefighters put out the flames. Darien police gave this account of what happened:

The shed fire was reported to police and the fire department at 11:40 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. When police arrived at 10 Alpine Lane (a block east of the Middlesex Club and a few blocks north of Holmes School), the 10-foot-by-10-foot shed was already engulfed in flames. A neighbor told police an explosion was heard before the flames were seen.

Darien Police video Instagram storm 02-09-17

Tips for Winter Storms: You Might Find Some New Ideas Here or Good Reminders

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United Way of Connecticut has these tips for handling winter snow storms. You know many of them, but you may pick up some ideas or reminders from this (which was last updated in December):

Before the Storm Strikes:
Winter storms and blizzards can cause loss of electricity, heat and telephone service and can trap you in your home for a few days. Have available:

Flashlight and extra batteries
Make sure each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat and water resistant boots
Extra blankets
Battery powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information
Canned food and nonelectric can opener
Bottled water
Extra medicine and baby items
First aid supplies
Healing fuel – fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a severe winter storm
Back up heating source, such as fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc. Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
Sand to improve traction
Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water
Make a Family Communication Plan. Your family may not be together when the storm strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another and how you will get back together.

Night Police Lights CT State Police on Facebook March 30-17 uploaded 06-20-17

When You See Emergency Lights at a Highway Crash, Slow Down, Move Over — It’s the Law

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In the wake of a crash last Friday in Southport, AAA Northeast strongly urges motorists to consider the potential danger emergency responders including tow truck drivers put themselves in when they assist disabled motorists on our interstates. “Connecticut has a “Slow Down, Move Over” law — which means just that,” said Fran Mayko, the spokeswoman for AAA Northeast, the regional affiliate of the American Automobile Association. ____________

— an announcement from AAA Northeast


“When a driver sees an emergency vehicle — whether it’s a state police cruiser, fire truck, ambulance, or a tow truck — with activated lights, drivers need to reasonably slow down below the speed limit,” she said. And if possible, they should move to the adjacent lane to give responders space to operate, she said. Last Friday evening, two parked AAA Northeast vehicles with emergency lights activated — a flatbed and battery van, assisting a disabled motorist on Interstate 95’s Exit 19 on ramp — were involved in a multi-vehicle crash.

Don’t Menace the Community with Your Mylar Balloons: Mom Won’t Like It

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Mother’s Day and graduation celebrations call for outdoor gatherings.  But before firing up the grill, be sure to take precautions to ensure any Mylar balloons used to liven up the festivities won’t pose a threat to the electric system. In recognition of National Electrical Safety Month, Eversource is reminding customers that Mylar balloons can cause power outages and even pose a significant safety risk. “The silver metallic coating on Mylar balloons is a conductor of electricity. If the balloon makes contact with power lines, it can damage electric lines and equipment, and cause power outages.

Got Proof Seat Belts CT st pol 3 5-27-16

Don’t Wear Seat Belts? Now’s the Time to Start: Enforcement Up in Next Two Weeks

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Darien police will be on the lookout for drivers not obeying seat belt laws during the 2017 national “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign from Monday, May 22 through Sunday, June 4. The department will be joining hundreds of other law enforcement agencies across the country during the two-week period. Here’s part of a statement about the campaign from the Connecticut Department of Transportation:

With the Memorial Day weekend coming upon us, Connecticut’s law enforcement agencies intend to promote safe driving and increase the protection of all motorists. Law enforcement officials are out on Connecticut’s roads enforcing the State Occupant Protection laws and issuing citations to those who are unbuckled.” In real life you don’t get a second chance” Click It or Ticket!

Tick sizes Lyme disease CDC

Darien Has Higher Rate of Ticks with Lyme Than State Average

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Three numbers tell this story: (1) Over the past decade, 27 percent of deer ticks tested across Connecticut were positive for Lyme disease; (2) so far this year, it’s 38 percent; (3) in Darien so far this year, it’s 47 percent. The high Darien percentage was the case with the 20 ticks sent to the laboratory at the state agricultural experiment station in 2017 up to Easter (April 16). The rate has stayed the same — out of a total of 30 ticks tested so far this year, 14 (47 percent) have tested positive for Lyme. Any Darien resident can bring a tick to the town Health Department for testing. Only ticks found on people (not pets) are sent to the state laboratory, town Health Director David Knauf says.

Bullseye Lyme Disease tick bite 04-18-17

Expect More Ticks in 2017: Darien Health Dept Has This Advice on Avoiding Bites

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The black legged or deer tick (Iodes scapularis) is well known for spreading Lyme disease. Now, after a very mild winter, there are reports of a large number of ticks, all looking for a blood meal, possibly from you! _____________

— an announcement from Darien Health Department


Here are some tips and things to know to protect yourself and your family:

Residents can bring ticks taken from themselves or family members (no dog ticks please!) to the Health Department office where they will submitted and tested for the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease. While waiting for the results, watch for any of the following symptoms of Lyme Disease:

* Flu-like feeling, aches, fever, headache

* Enlarging often “bull’s eye” rash at the original site of the bite; reddish on light skin, bruised looking on darker skin. About 50 percent of light skinned adults get a rash and some get multiple rashes.

SUV Crash I-95 Slow Down Move Over Law AAA Northeast 02-20-17

AAA Northeast: Remember, Drivers — CT Has a ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ Law for Passing Accidents

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Since early January, there have been at least a half dozen or more near-hits or actual collisions with emergency vehicles on Connecticut’s interstates. In the wake of these incidents — the latest occurring Sunday night on I-95 in Guilford —AAA Northeast urges motorists to be aware of Connecticut’s “Slow Down, Move Over” law, that requires drivers to slow down and, if possible, move over, when they see emergency vehicles parked on the road’s shoulder. ____________
— an announcement from AAA Northeast, the American Automobile Association that includes western Connecticut, among its regions
Since early January, there have been numerous situations in which state police officers, emergency vehicles, and tow truck drivers have faced brushes with death on Connecticut highways after they stopped to offer assistance to injured or disabled motorists. “How many times do close calls, injuries, or fatalities have to occur before drivers understand that the law requires you to slow down?” said Fran Mayko, a AAA Northeast spokeswoman. “Emergency personnel put themselves in harm’s way daily to assist those in need.

Bear Pumpkin

Halloween Safety Tips & Reminders from Darien Police

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In order to assist our community in enjoying this fun-filled holiday as safely as possible, the Darien Police Department has compiled the following Halloween safety tips for children, parents, motorists, and homeowners:

Tips for a Safe Halloween
• Always escort your children and carry a flashlight. • Be familiar with the neighborhood where your children will be trick-or-treating. • Set a specific time for your child/children to be out. • Always know who is trick-or-treating with your children. • Walk on the sidewalks and not in the middle of the street.