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Community Safety: Frequently Asked Questions and Regulations

Q. Does the community crime watch symbol have a universal meaning?

Varying shades of blue surround an almond shaped white blob dotted with a large, dark pupil is the blue eye symbol that can quickly convey potential criminals that “We are watching you” or “We have our eyes on you”. The blue eye symbol on the crime watch signs are used by many local communities for an effective neighborhood watch program. The symbol is designed by the National Neighborhood Watch Institute along with “Boris the Burglar” and “Masked Bad Guy” symbols and used by countless sheriffs and police around the country since 1972.

Q. What regulations apply to private community signs?

As such, there’s no federal or state regulation that requires or mandates private community signs. Private communities are private properties where the owners can choose to post community signage for their community safety at their own discretion. We have sold millions of security signs and know that signs put you in better control of your property. Prevent loitering, illegal dumping, graffiti, or even unwanted soliciting with private community signs. Our community road signs meet most of the federal regulations set for reflectivity, design, lettering, and size to ensure road users receive consistent, uniform messages.

Q. What exactly is a ‘Quiet Zone’ in communities?

“Quiet Zones” are segments of railroad lines, passing from within a community, where train crews are not allowed to sound the horn. Since 2005, communities have the ability to create Quiet Zones. Community Quiet Zones enhance grade-crossing safety while improving the quality of life for those neighborhoods living near the railroad corridor. A Quiet Zone can be one railroad crossing in a community, or several consecutive crossings in one or more communities.
Residents can establish Quiet Zones and Quiet hours in their private communities by posting necessary Quiet Hours signage. Quiet hours are set times, usually during the morning and night, when unnecessary or excessive noise is prohibited - no loud music, blasting televisions or other disturbances that could bother other residents who may be trying to sleep.

Q. How does littering and dumping affect the community?

Monetary Loss: It costs residents thousands of dollars to clean up trash, reverse the effects of littering and prevent dumping.
Spread of disease: Improperly discarded trash is a breeding ground for bacteria, pest species, and insects. Litter can spread diseases, viruses, and parasites.
Pollution: Improper waste disposal causes air, soil and water pollution and contributes to an unhealthy environment for community members.
Aesthetic Value: Littering negatively affects the aesthetic perception of a neighborhood and diminishes the value of a property.

Q. Are speeding vehicles a community hazard? How?

Yes, speeding can increase the chances of accidents in a community. Speeding vehicles are more likely to lose control of the vehicle and have a lowered reaction time if anything or anyone suddenly comes in the way. Children playing on the streets or suddenly crossing the road in a private community can fall prey to speeding vehicles. Therefore, fast moving vehicles certainly are a community hazard. Certain courts have ruled that associations governing a private property can enforce speed limits and other traffic rules in communities for everyone’s safety. Installing slow down and speed limit signs have proven to lower the accident rates in communities.

Q. How can one start a community watch program?

You can follow these steps to create a community watch, as suggested by the National Sheriff’s Association -
Collect and encourage as many neighbors as possible
Talk to your neighbors, make a watch group, and ask them to be vigilant. Get feedback and suggestions and make necessary adjustments to the plans.

Contact your local law enforcement agency
Invite the local law enforcement agency to meet your group at a time and place suitable for your Watch Group. The police department would discuss and guide the participants on terrorism awareness, how to respond in times of emergency, and basic crime prevention techniques, and also answer questions the group might have.

Discuss community concerns and develop an action plan
Work with the local law enforcement adviser and designate a group head. Chalk out a watch rooster and an emergency phone number tree to report crime, strange movements, and occurrence.
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