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East County Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 8 years ago

LETTER: Careless drivers endanger children

by: Jennifer Aaron

It starts as a regular school day. I wake up early enough to get my children up, dressed and eating. By the time we are off to school, they’re wide-awake and bushy-tailed.

As I drive them to Manatee Elementary and drop them off in front I always say the same thing, “Good-bye my babies, behave today and stay on green.” I watch them head off into the cafeteria as they are starting their day of learning.

I leave the school, and this is where the aggravation starts. I sit at the red light on 15th Street East and State Road 64 waiting to turn. The car in front of me also waiting sees an opening and proceeds even though there is a “No turn on red” sign. The light turns green, so I turn to go back to my home.

The next thing I see is the car behind me whip around me and start speeding down S.R. 64 right in the middle of the school zone. I get upset because of the amount of children I see walking every morning, so I beep my horn and motion with my hand that they should slow down.

Now I get that there is no actual school speed limit sign on S.R. 64, but doesn’t it say on the drivers license test we all take that a school zone limit is 20 mph? Just so happens that the light turns red, so here I am sitting next to the other driver I told to slow down.

I look over and see what looks like a husband and wife looking back at me. I roll my window down to explain that I beeped because they needed to slow down in the school zone. The man replied with a, “So, what?” followed by an expletive.

As I watch him drive away, (a little slower, I might add), I hope I got some kind of idea in his head that children walk across this road, and one day he may be speeding and hit and kill one of those kids.

This is what I have seen so many times over and over again. It’s not just Manatee Elementary, my kids used to go to Oneco Elementary on S.R. 70, and I saw the same thing.

Is it just people who do not have children? I would think if parents who see the beautiful faces of their children every day would have some kind of protective instinct not just to their own but also to other children. You hear about kids getting hit and killed by cars all the time, and you wonder what goes on in people’s minds.

I’ve been tempted to make a sign and stand on S.R. 64. The sign would read, “My children walk across this road to further their minds and make a better future. Please slow down so they have a chance.”

I know that being as I am only one person, but it doesn’t hurt to try. If anything, I hope this letter makes some people stop and consider that their lives and the lives of others can change so dramatically because they decided not to slow down for one-quarter of a mile. My children are my life, and I would protect them at all cost. Please take this as a reminder that our children are our future, and if we don’t protect them, who will?

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