This article may be one of many that you read over the next week or so reminding you that our children will soon be on their way to school again. They will remind you that school zones will be in effect, school crossing guards must be obeyed and that caution around stopped school buses is required. Will you as a prudent driver take this to heart and practice it without fail or will all your good intentions disappear the first time you are in a hurry?
As I have written before, my policing experience in school zones has shown me that many traffic rule offenders (more than just speeding) are parents and teachers themselves as they rush to get their children to school or to reach work on time. If these people don't stop and think about risk versus convenience, why should they expect other drivers to do it? Everyone else could be in just as much of a hurry.
Perhaps we need to have school zone campaigns at different times of the year that focus on issues other than speed. Officer on the bus, illegal stopping and parking, u-turns, child restraint use and failing to obey the direction of a crossing guard come to mind. All of these behaviours present their own dangers to young pedestrians and passengers.
A unique idea to consider implementing this year for your neighbourhood is The Walking School Bus. Young children gather together and are escorted to school safely by parents who share the "bus driver" duties. Walking is healthy for both parent and child while it also reduces vehicle congestion at the school.