Share The Rhode safety campaign expands to local schools

Share The Rhode safety campaign expands to local schools

CUMBERLAND – With the blessing of the Cumberland School Committee, Michelle Berkovitz and Laura Belhumeur are expanding their Share The Rhode campaign to local schools.

In addition to marketing the traffic safety program at area events this summer, the pair received approval to post the recognizable "Drive Like Your Kids Live Here" lawn signs at each of eight Cumberland district schools.

The goal of displaying these signs is to hopefully lead to a safer environment for children and all pedestrians, the women say. The sign should alert and remind motorists of the children, pets and families in the area and to think, act and drive accordingly.

Berkovitz is the mother of Carl John III, the local teen struck and killed in a hit-and-run on Bear Hill Road two years ago, and Belhumeur was the driver. The two are now working together on the Share The Rhode campaign, a condition of Belhumeur's sentence, which also placed her in home confinement.

According to the Share The Rhode organizers, drivers have become desensitized to regular street signage and are also less inclined to slow down near schools, thinking school’s out. But with the onset of summer, there are more children playing in the streets, and school buildings are still used recreationally, while children and families use the playgrounds.

The signs will hopefully motivate people to think in a different way, say the organizers. "The simple fact is that there is too much speeding and too much distracted driving," states a news release. "When reading these signs, our thoughts should go straight to checking in with our speedometer, slowing down if necessary, and putting away or avoiding any distractions."