Who is the Danger?

School Zone SignBy the time you read this column, the first week of the new school year will have been completed. Of course, we have all read the obligatory school is in - slow down articles and commercials designed to focus driver's minds on the presence of students traveling back and forth to school on our highways. Perhaps we can take a different approach and look through an officer's eyes at where the majority of the problems may lie.

My enforcement experience has shown me that during the peak rush before and after classes, quite a few violators consist of parents and school staff. These are the people that are in a hurry to drop the kids off before work, stop where they are not supposed to because they will "just be a minute" and drop their cargo off where they have to cross the busy street to get to the school because the parking lot is full. Don't ask for patience because we're in a hurry!

What can be more important in a parent's life than the safety of your children? In this instance you have control over what happens and can decide your child's safety by leaving early, waiting patiently to drop them off where they should be dropped of and remembering to think of the needs of other parents who are doing exactly the same thing. Remember, by not doing so you run the risk of losing what is central in your world.

Finally, I would like to present a tidbit I learned preparing to instruct at Elder College. Children's peripheral vision is not developed the way it is with adults. While you may see things out of the corner of your eye, they don't. If they are not looking at you, they genuinely might not see you and place themselves in harm's way.

The next time you enter a school or playground zone, don't just slow down, think about the hazard that you might be for everyone you may encounter in it. I dare say that if you do this and make the right choices because of it you won't be the danger in the school zone.



Unfit Parent

I'm reminded of the time when I was conducting a Road Test on a Learner Driver; she saw the 30 km/h School Zone, and smoothly slowed down to the posted limit as we approached it.

This was entirely too much for the impatient woman driving behind us, rushing her son to the elementary school about 75 metres ahead; she blew past us with an angry scowl, to then jam on the brakes as she pulled over to drop her kid off.  My guess - and no exaggeration here - is that she got close to 60 km/h in that 30 km/h zone, briefly.

Really makes you wonder about some people ... surprise

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