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The Yankee Express

Time to dispose of unused medicines

By Chief Steven J. Wojnar 
Dudley Police Department
I wanted to take this opportunity to inform the residents of Dudley that on Saturday, October 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Dudley Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  This has been a popular and much requested program in the past.  I wanted to provide some information to people once again on this event.
  The Drug Take Back has been held several times over the years in Dudley.  Our latest was held this past spring, after the 2020 events were cancelled due to COVID-19.  In April, a large quantity of prescription medications and medical sharps were taken in.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health need.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses.  Studies show that most of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.  In addition, people are advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.  Thanks to the effort of District Attorney Joseph Early’s Office, we now have a permanent Drug Disposal Kiosk located in our Police Station Lobby.  These items can now be disposed of locally at any time during the year.  Other communities have these kiosks at their police stations or other town buildings.  If you are not from Dudley, be sure to check with your community for one of these disposal locations.    
In addition to the prescription disposal, we will work with officials from Harrington Hospital to dispose of medical sharps (needles, etc.) on this same day.  Collection bins will be on hand to dispose of these items properly and safely as well.  
A number of these programs will take place on October 23, in communities all over the area.  If you are not a Dudley resident, please check with your local officials for a disposal site near you.  In Dudley, bring your medications to The Dudley Police Department located inside the Dudley Municipal Complex at 71 West Main Street Dudley.  We thank everyone in advance for their participation in this worthwhile program.    

Solid center lines
  I receive a variety of driving related inquiries for this column.  I was asked a question which applied to solid center lines on roads.  What, if any, is the difference between one solid yellow center line and a double solid line?
  The short answer to this question is they have the same meaning.  Yellow center line dividers are in place to separate and designate travel lanes.  Whether there are one or two lines, drivers are obligated to stay in their lane.  Single center line markers can be present on some streets due to several factors, including road width, cost, etc.  Double solid lines are most often present on state highways or main roads with sufficient width.  Single or double lines will prohibit passing in both directions.  Double center lane markers can be modified in some locations with “dashed” lines.  These allows vehicles traveling in one direction to pass in those designated places.  Those approaching from the other direction cannot pass, mainly due to a curve or view obstruction for those drivers.  
The law outlines situations when center lines can be crossed.  Mass General Laws Chapter 90, Section 1 allows for the crossing of solid center lines for making a left turn “into or from a private way.”  Section 5 also authorizes people to operate contrary to these markings when directed by a police officer or for road construction / equipment.  According to this law, passing is allowed for a construction situation when it, “necessitates a departure from normal operational practices...”  This plainly means there is no other way around the project.  When passing under these allowed circumstances, it will still be the obligation of the passing driver to yield to oncoming traffic.  
  Any violations of these laws can result in a civil fine of at least $100.  It is important to pay attention to the road markings on streets.  Solid center lane markers are in place to prohibit passing in dangerous areas. Operating vehicles, contrary to the rules in place, can result in a crash or injuries.  Try to exercise due care, pay attention to markings and signs, and drive defensively. 
For those still seeking vaccination information, it can be found at or by calling 508-949-8036.  Please continue moving forward with the “re-opening” of our state in a reasonable manner.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.  During these challenging times, we, at the Dudley Police Department, greatly appreciate the support we receive from our community.  
Thanks again for your questions and comments.  Please send them to me at the Dudley Police Department 71 West Main St. Dudley, Ma. 01571 or email at [email protected]  Opinions expressed in this weekly column are those of Chief Wojnar only and unless clearly noted, do not reflect the ideas or opinions of any other organization or citizen.