Snow equipment removal day at Al Tahoe Elementary |

Snow equipment removal day at Al Tahoe Elementary

Sarah Gonser

When a child stands next to the 163H Motor Grader Caterpillar, it becomes very clear very fast, why South Lake Tahoe Public Services is teaching kindergarten and first-grade students to stay away from snowplows. Not only does the child appear miniaturized next to the massive machine, but it would be impossible for the plow operator to even see the child from the driver’s seat.

“We have TV monitors to see the back,” said equipment operator Ben Moresi. “But when cars get right up behind us and it’s snowing real hard, we can’t even see them, let alone children.”

Indeed, the plow operator’s field of vision is very limited by how high the driver’s seat is from the ground. The noise of the engine running coupled with the plow scrapping the asphalt is so deafening that outside safety measures are necessary and even crucial.

“Our emphasis is on safety for the children,” said organizer and equipment operator Bob Harms. “We go over the information in the classroom, then the kids get to come outside and sit in the snowplow, see what it looks like and how big it really is and hear how it sounds when the plow backs up.”

Harms said teachers will remind the children of the safety measures once more snow falls but noted that parents should also review the following tips with their children.

n Safe places to be when the plows are out are in the house, on the front porch or in the back yard.

n Remember to put away all toys (such as sleds and shovels) and garbage cans.

n Be sure to keep pets safe in the house or in the backyard.

n Be sure to wear a safety belt when riding in the car.

n Be sure to wave at the plow drivers when they go down the street.

n If you build a snow fort, keep it away from the street.

Harms and his crew are teaching the snowplow safety measures at Al Tahoe Elementary, Tahoe Valley, Bijou Community School, Tahoe Parents Nursery School, St. Theresa Catholic School and Mountainside Montessori School.

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