State School Superintendent Kathy Cox wrote an op-ed for National School Bus Safety Week. Her piece resonated with me because of all the dangerous driving I see around schools.
My work route takes me through Georgia State. I am always daydreaming about land torpedoes as I watch drivers harass and endanger students attempting to cross the streets between classes. My torpedo target the other day would have been a woman making a left. In her haste, she almost ran down a student crossing the street. Rather than being ashamed of herself, the driver hit her horn in annoyance that somebody had the nerve to be in the crosswalk.
Here is what Cox wrote:
Slow down in school zones. The speed limit is lower in these areas
because when near a school, students are moving on and off the bus, being dropped off by their parents, or walking to the school.
Slowing down in these zones gives drivers time to react.
Slow down for yellow flashing lights on school buses.
Stop for red flashing lights and the stop arm. I know it can be tempting to speed up when you see those flashing lights, but it is very dangerous to try passing it before it stops. The red lights mean students are getting on and off the bus. When drivers move too quickly and aren’t cautious, accidents can happen.
On a road with two-way traffic, cars traveling in both directions should stop, unless it is a divided highway with a median. Students may be crossing the road.
Finally, as we enter the winter months and prepare for the end of daylight savings time, more students will be waiting for the bus in the dark. Exercise extra caution, especially in the mornings.
I am tired of reading stories about children struck and killed by careless drivers. We all need to slow down and pay attention.