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July 4, 2014

At yield signs, go slow and be ready to stop

On behalf of Chief Kevin Ouellet and the staff at the Amesbury Police Department, I would like to wish readers a happy and safe Independence Day. We ask residents to leave the fireworks to the professionals; fireworks are dangerous and illegal in Massachusetts and responsible for serious injuries every year.

Check out the annual Amesbury display at Woodsom Farm tomorrow night; you’ll see a great show. If you are going, plan to arrive around 8:30 p.m., as Lions Mouth Road will be closed to traffic before the display begins at 9.

The 115th Amesbury Days celebration got off to a great start last week with the Senior Citizen Cookout at Holy Family Parish Hall. Firefighters grilled burgers and dogs, while Chief Ouellet, Chief Brickett, Deputy Dion, Officer Morrill and I served the 160-plus in attendance. The cookout is always a great way to kick off the Fourth of July season, as the seniors sure know how to celebrate.

Later in the day, the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce took over Main Street for the annual downtown Block Party. This year’s fiesta theme was certainly a hit, which attracted a huge crowd. Congratulations to Annmary Connor and Melissa Cerasuolo for organizing such entertaining and community-oriented events.

I was able to chat with many residents at the Block Party last week about “The Amesbury Beat” and gathered quite a few tips for future columns. In fact, the column I did a couple weeks ago, about stop lines and signs, was mentioned with a suggestion for a follow-up. I, as well as many other motorists, have come to the conclusion there are two words in the traffic dictionary, which seem to have been forgotten: “limit and yield.”

The “speed limit” means you are not supposed to travel faster than the posted number. Unfortunately, speed limits seem to have become a “guide” for drivers and it has become acceptable to drive in the vicinity of the term — usually about 10 mph faster. Speed limits are set in place with many factors in consideration: road surface, design, closeness of homes and presence of a school, for example. Motorists are asked to stay under the posted limit; it’s much safer.

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