Every day an average of 44 kids are hit while walking, many while on their way to school. That is horrifying. What kind of person puts kids at risk because they’re in a little bit of a hurry?
In this report by Jeff Rossen of the Today Show, we see police tracking the speed of cars in a school zone. Some of the cars are going as fast as 56 MPH. In a school zone. They set up a speed trap in front of the school and it only took minutes to catch an offender: a woman was driving by the school at 53 MPH. When the officers asked her how fast she thought she was going, she replied, “I’d say about 30 or 35.” What? There’s a speedometer right in front of your face – it’s not like you’re flying blind. There is absolutely no reason to not be acutely aware of how fast you’re going at all times when you are behind the wheel.
Rossen asks the officer if 50 MPH is slow enough to be able to hit the brakes and stop if you happen to see a child in your path. The officer says, “No. Definitely not.” Rossen then questions the woman driving. He asks her, “Why were you going so fast in a school zone.” She says, “I don’t believe that I was. You’re with traffic, you’re assuming you’re within your speed limit.” Um, no. You don’t have to “assume” anything. Again, there’s a speedometer right in front of your face.
Yes, the speed limit is admittedly very slow in school zones. It’s 15 MPH on the blocks surrounding my son’s school. There’s a reason for that: a child’s life is more important than the fact some idiot couldn’t get out the door in time that morning. This is inexcusable. You don’t put a child’s life at risk simply because you think traffic laws do not apply to you. They do. Especially when a child’s life is at stake.
Sorry not sorry for being harsh. This makes my blood boil. When you are behind the wheel, you are essentially operating a weapon. It’s a several thousand pound object that can take the life of another human (or several) if you’re not careful. There is simply no excuse for this kind of negligence.
A few minutes after the officer in the video caught the first speeder, he catches another one. This time, the driver was going 52 MPH. When they asked her why she was driving so fast she replied,“I guess I’m in a hurry.”
According to the Federal Highway Administration, when cars hit a pedestrian at a speed of 40 MPH or faster, 80% of those pedestrian victims die. But if you cut that speed to 20 MPH, less than 10% die.
Think about this next time you find yourself in a hurry around a school zone. There is no destination that can’t wait an extra few minutes. Your time constraints do not trump the life of a child.