Take a moment to think of children going back to school.
Children are heading back to school after summer vacation. Less people are on vacation and more people are on the road, including teachers coming to school, high school students driving personal cars to class, and buses taking younger kids to school.
Children head back to the classroom. Most take a bus or drive. Unlike when Abraham Lincoln walked to school, only 13% of kids either walk or bike.
Drivers should adjust their habits and understand that child pedestrian fatalities have been generally between 3pm and 7pm, about the time they are leaving school and when their parents are departing from work.
Incredibly, some drivers don’t stop for school buses even when stop signs and flashing lights are displayed.
Kids are thinking about getting back home, having something to eat, watching television and playing outside. They are not thinking about safety. So be mindful of kids darting out in front of your car. When you are in the school zone and you see the 15 MPH sign, slow way, way down and look around.
Don’t roll through a stop sign, but stop. If you see a school crossing guard, treat that person with respect and instead of going through a raised hand, just stop and let the children pass. If you have a teenager, speak about road safety. Talk about the people that you know who died in car crashes. Talk about how dangerous it is to use a cell phone, and if your teenager is driving and texting, impose a penalty like no car for a week.
Watch out for bicyclists and pass them only when it is safe to do so giving the cyclist plenty of room from the side of your car. We know that cyclists that do not obey the rules of the road frustrate many drivers, but just swallow the anger and understand that there is no contest between 1,500 lbs and an engine and someone on a bike. Just watch your speed, especially when you are in a school zone or in a neighborhood with young children. Take your time.
Life is too short and you should not make it shorter for yourself or someone leaving school with a smile on their face. Think of what it would be like if you had an accident with a child – you would carry that burden forever and it is a burden that none of us ever want to carry.
Just use common sense and, if you arrive a few minutes late, not a big deal because what’s playing on the radio may be more worthwhile.
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