So school is now back in full swing across the country, and that means the 20 MPH school zones are back in effect too. I get it, I really do, you're running late for work it sucks to have to slow down to a crawl, especially if you don't even see any kids. But reality is, you have to do it, and nothing irks me more than those who don't think the rules apply to them. Let's break this down a little shall we?
Why do we even have 20 MPH zones in the first place? Well this one should be a no brainer, but since I have learned that some people are no brainers we will actually cover this topic. There are basically two reasons for this one has to do with you as the driver, and one has to do with the kids themselves. You as the driver have to pay attention to many things while navigating a car, or at least you should be and your phone should not be one of them, things like other cars, traffic signals and signs, normal adult pedestrian and bike traffic. Generally speaking the slower you are travelling the more time you will have to react to any one of these normal things let alone the next part of the equation here. The other thing we have to consider is the kids. Kids by nature are usually short, unless you get to the high school age which we will address in a minute, and they are fast and slippery. Think of them like those water snake toys you may have played with as a kid, you know these things. Even with parental/ adult supervision you never know if or when they are going to slip away to run off to be with that one friend they haven't seen all weekend! Seriously, these little buggers are slippery. Ok, so you're thinking that explains elementary students and maybe some middle school students, but what about the older ones. Well, to put it in simple terms, they're brain damaged. Any parent of a teenager or who has survived raising a teenager will tell you this. They are absolutely brain damaged, especially when left to their own devices and in groups. They think they are invincible and think nothing of putting their own lives and the lives of their friends in danger. For you as the driver this can translate to them darting into traffic to avoid having to walk the extra ten feet to the crosswalk, or pushing each other into the road because it's fun. Even worse are the teen driver's because now you have brain damaged teenagers who think they are invincible behind the wheel. Trust me, you want that extra time to react.
So, when we are in a 20 MPH zone and the zone is in effect I am going to go 20 MPH. If you are behind me do NOT feel the need to crawl into my trunk space to save on gas by hitching a ride. If you do this I will then feel the need to go 18-19 MPH just because. Also, if you are going over the 20 MPH and you then turn into the school parking lot I feel a special kind of loathing for you. This means you either work at the school or are a parent. You should know better and should be setting the example, shame on you. For those of you who think you are special and don't feel the speed limit applies to you and then you are busted and get a hefty ticket, I feel no mercy for you don't complain to me. If you are afraid slowing down for what usually amounts to about 1 mile is going to make you late for work then you need get your lazy butt up earlier or find a new route to work that doesn't involve a school zone.
The moral of the story is slow down for the kids. It really is worth it, how horrible would you feel if you knew you weren't adhering to the speed limit and that one tragedy took place because you couldn't react fast enough? Take the time to slow down.