Bedford Police Awarded Grant to Enhance Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety

Submitted on behalf of the Bedford Police Department

Public Safety-BPDTo help make sharing the road safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, the Bedford Police Department was recently awarded a $3,000 grant by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) Highway Safety Division from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The funding comes from approximately $280,000 specifically provided to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety in the Commonwealth.  Bedford is one of 71 police departments to receive part of this funding.

According to the Massachusetts Traffic Records Analysis Center (MassTRAC), there have been 320 fatal injuries and 3,456 serious or incapacitating injuries sustained by pedestrians in motor vehicle crashes from 2008 to 2012. During the same time frame, bicyclists sustained 1,106 serious or incapacitating injuries and 43 fatal injuries as a result of motor vehicle crashes.

“Bicyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to the motoring public because they may not be immediately visible to drivers and unlike those in vehicles, nothing protects them from impact,” said Traffic Enforcement Officer Marc Saucier. “All users need to learn to share the road safely and be mindful of one another and the law.  We’ll use the grant for education, enforcement and outreach we believe will help protect our pedestrians and cyclists from injuries and fatalities.”

Grantees will pay for enforcement and decoy patrols, breakaway signs and crosswalk reflective tape.  The combination of enforcement techniques and equipment will help the department analyze and crack down on drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists who do not share the road appropriately, so no one puts themselves or others in harm’s way.

The Bedford Police Department, in partnership with EOPSS, recognizes that traffic crashes are preventable and is committed to using this grant to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries involving pedestrians and bicyclists in Bedford because any death or injury

After several reports of IRS scams and tax fraud last year, Chief Robert Bongiorno and the Bedford Police Department are reminding residents to be careful with private and financial information during this tax season, and to never send money to anyone who has contacted you that you do not know.

These scams generally originate from someone you don’t know who asks for payment in ways that are nearly untraceable. Other reports of tax fraud consisted of residents having fraudulent information on their tax returns or that they had fraudulent tax returns filed under their social security numbers.

Bedford Police advise residents to complete and submit their taxes as soon as possible to give potential scammers less time and opportunity to submit a refund using your information, which police received several reports of last year.

“The Bedford Police Department’s foremost mission is public safety. Every year, around this time, we hear reports of people being victimized by scam artists and identity thieves,” Chief Bongiorno said. “Protect your personal information, and never give information to someone unless you are absolutely certain of their identity.”

Scammers usually claim to be from the IRS or another government agency and inform the victim they did not pay or incorrectly filed their taxes. The victim is told they owe money to the IRS and must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.

Residents are advised to never give out their social security numbers, dates of birth, or any other private or financial information to someone whose identity is in question. The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail and will never ask for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the phone.

If there is any doubt, call the IRS official hotline at 800-829-1040 or 800-829-4059 (TDD for the hearing impaired).

Any residents who are concerned about their identity or personal security should call the Bedford Police Department at 781-275-1212.

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