Every morning I walk my kids to school and I stand at the crosswalk in disbelief at the people who speed through the school zone, text, and are oblivious to the children trying to cross the road to get to school. I have seen near hits and misses as one car stops to let a group of children cross and the car behind him impatiently passes, almost taking out that young group of children. It's at those moments I am tempted to dress my children in hunter orange just to get them across the street.
In the morning we are all in a rush! Time is money and that makes our time more valuable than others'. However, the children of our community are our biggest treasure. In Edmonton there were over 316 injuries and eight fatalities due to pedestrian-involved collisions in 2011. We are almost averaging one pedestrian collision per day. It is only a matter of time before my neighborhood crosswalk makes that list injuries or fatalities.
Is it safer to just to roll my children across the street in an armoured tank? It seems that vehicles have little time to slow down and stop for 30 seconds to let a group of kids cross the street.
My family follows the rules of crosswalk safety and we wait for that one courteous driver who will stop and let us cross the street. But there are moments when drivers take risks and we have to be defensive walkers. Always alert and ready for that one vehicle ready to plow us down.
It is when I'm standing with my kids in the middle of the crosswalk intersection waiting for the other side of cars to stop for us that I dream of owning a tomato gun. I could shoot at the car speeding by - obviously oblivious to the world - as they are busy picking their nose. Other times, I'm tempted to start a blog called "Ass of the Week" as I catch on video that one bad driver who almost run overs my neighbors children.
Every year I call the city of Edmonton for a traffic light and I am told we are on the list but 'not a very high priority." So as the city is in talks to put millions into a new hockey arena, do you think they could spare some change for one extra crosswalk light? Or does it have to take the death of a child to warrant one small light in this bustling city? I'm not sure what the answer is to traffic and pedestrian safety is but I do have one request:
if you are driving through a school zone please be alert and take a moment to slow "the beep" down.