We met the Safety Frog one evening while our officers were coming back from Swamp Run here in Upshur County. They were driving along when suddenly several frogs started hopping out from the ditch in front of them. Not wanting to hit the frogs, the officers stopped their patrol car.
As they waited for the frogs to cross, they noticed a shiny silver gleam in the headlights. When they got out of their car to investigate, they found a frog with a bright yellow safety vest hopping along slowly! As they watched, the frog would hop, look side to side, and hop again. When asked what he was doing, the Safety Frog replied he was looking both ways for traffic before crossing the street!
Our officers were so impressed by his safety awareness, they asked him to be the official safety spokes-frog for the Buckhannon Police Department. We were very excited when he said “Yes”! The only issue was the Safety Frog did not have a name. The police department turned to the community to help with the naming of the Safety Frog, specifically asking the Upshur County Head Start classes for input. After the classes submitted their suggestions, a special committee chose the submission made by Mrs. Bailey’s Head Start class. The class submitted POKES, which is short for Police Officers Keeping Everyone Safe. POKES the Safety Frog now travels with our officers to schools and public events to teach children about safety.
In his spare time, POKES likes to lay on the beach, swim, and listen to music. His favorite foods are mosquitoes and horse flies.
Always walk on the sidewalk to the bus stop, never run.
If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left facing traffic.
Go to the bus stop about five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
While at the bus stop, wait quietly in a safe place well away from the road.
Do not run and play while waiting.
Enter the bus in line with younger students in front.
Hold the handrail while going up and down the stairs
When entering the bus, go directly to a seat.
Remain seated and face forward during the entire ride.
Always speak quietly on the bus so the driver will not be distracted.
Always be silent when a bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if a train is coming.
Never throw things on the bus or out the windows.
Keep the aisles clear at all times. Feet should be directly in front of you on the floor and book bags should be kept on your lap. Large instruments or sports equipment should not block the aisle or emergency exits.
Never play with the emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.
Hands should be kept to yourself at all times while riding on the bus.
Fighting and picking on others creates a dangerous bus ride.
If you leave something on the bus, never return to the bus to get it. The driver may not see you come back and she may begin moving the bus.
Make sure that drawstrings and other loose objects are secure before getting off the bus so that the do not get caught on the handrail or the door.
Respect the "Danger Zone" which surrounds all sides of the bus. The "Danger Zone" is ten feet wide on all sides of the bus. Always remain 10 steps away from the bus to be out of the "Danger Zone" and where the driver can see you.
Always cross the street in from of the bus. Never go behind the bus. If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver before you attempt to pick it up, so they will know where you are.
Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Always go straight home and tell you parents if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.