School Zones

School Zone SignIt's time again for the annual school zone column. You know, the one where it says slow down, obey the school zone speed limits and watch out for children who are too excited about going back to school to watch for traffic? I write something like this every year, but maybe this year it's time to look at the situation just a little differently.

Did you ever stop to think that possibly the real danger in the school zone is the drivers that are dropping the children off at school and picking them up when classes are over? When I think back to the complaints that I have investigated over the years, the unrelated speeders through the school zones were far outnumbered by parents who were in a hurry because they were late, parents that stopped or parked wherever they felt like it because the parking spaces were already full and parents who drop their children off on the side of the street opposite the school yard.

So what's wrong with dropping your small child off on the opposite side of the street from the school? I can tell you a story about a mother who dropped her little boy off on the opposite side one day. He was so excited that he closed the door, ran to the back of the car and bolted across the street directly into the path of another vehicle. He won't ever do that again, nor will he ever do anything else that little boys should do because he died shortly after being admitted to hospital. That other vehicle wasn't able to stop in time.

So, when you take your children to school on Tuesday morning, start early, obey the signs, be patient with others and don't take chances for the sake of saving a couple of minutes. Children should outlive their parents.

One other tidbit for thought: children's peripheral vision is not a well developed as that of an adult. If they are not looking at you, you cannot expect them to see your vehicle coming out of the corner of their eye as you would.

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