June 14, 2024
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June 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

It’s great that the weather is finally beautiful. I laughed a few days ago when I heard people complaining about the unbearable heat. How many remember those complaining about the recent weeks of constant downpours or those lamenting over the cold and ice? Guess we are a people that is never satisfied.

Yet, with the advent of the beautiful weather I am constantly being reminded as I promenade along Queen Anne or drive through the streets of Bergenfield and Teaneck that there are many young drivers who apparently are now out of school and have been given command of the family car.

I remember the days when after taking driver’s ed at Jericho High School and getting my license how anxious I was to drive and how nervous my parents were to allow me to drive. For months I was only permitted to drive together with them and only in the surroundings of Jericho (which is not too large). It took a very long time to be allowed to drive further than that and when I did, I believe that I was more afraid of my parents than I was of anything else happening. I probably drove at 10 miles per hour wherever I was going.

What makes me nervous these days is the number of young people driving with their friends (I am assuming) as passengers—and the disconnect they seem to have between the road and their passengers. Try driving around the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot through to Lazy Bean and all of the other eateries that surround the Teaneck area, and kids are talking to each other and to friends on the street while sitting in the driver’s seat. There are distinct rules why cars are not to be double-parked on Queen Anne. I am aware that plenty of cars do it; what really gets to me is that they do it sometimes when there is a space available only 20 feet away—but they prefer to double-park.

Kids are jumping in and out of cars. The crosswalk is there for a reason. Then, as I am driving on other streets, I notice that suddenly a car with young people inside comes shooting down the street. Sadly, now that school is over, there is little regard for the younger children who are out playing ball and riding their bikes on the same streets that the drivers think belong to them.

I am not sure how to change this situation, but I do wonder whether it is necessary for so many young drivers to be on the road. One would think that with the cost of gas these days a slight suggestion such as walking might be in order. How much time is a parent actually spending with a child behind the wheel once they get their license? Believe me, I know that it is no fun to restrict our children when they express anger and point to all of their contemporaries who are doing the things that you are suggesting they wait for. No one wants to be the overprotective parent or the odd man out when it comes to discipline but driving a car is similar to handling a lethal weapon.

Another worry which this summer seems to be in the news every other day is the number of drownings of young children, teenagers and young adults. Does anyone need to be advised that when children are using a pool they need to have adult supervision? Our community has a good number of private pools. I myself have grandchildren who have a large inground pool in their new home in Cherry Hill. When I originally heard of it I worried about the consequences of having five young children under the age of 11 and owning a pool. I know that there is a fence; I know that the parents are careful; I know that I am being overly worrisome, but it only takes one second for a tragedy to occur.

In most of life we have no control over but we still need to do our hishtadlus in trying as much as we can to prevent tragedies from occurring. When I hear of children jumping into a pool before their parents are watching them, or as I watch young girls and boys driving their parents’ cars with great pride and delight, I am concerned because we have a responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that all rules of safety are instilled in our children.

It is more important to be a parent than to be a child’s best friend.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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