Driving in a school zone August 24, 2010By now almost all of our First Coast area schools are back in session and that means lots more traffic and those bothersome school zones with those pesky blinking yellow lights and slow speed limits . Speeding through a school zone or being distracted by a cell phone is a quick way to seriously hurt or even kill someone. You’re not really going to get to work much faster than you would by being patient and observing all the traffic laws. I was reminded of this today by reading a news article this morning of a bicyclist run over by a woman turning into a school. I’m sure neither of them wanted to be in an accident and no one intentionally tried to harm someone. A few extra seconds to make sure there is no one in harm’s way will do us all some good. A few years back, a teacher died as a result of a car accident in a school parking lot in our neighborhood. The vehicle was going no more than 10 mph but the teacher was in the wrong place at the wrong time and landed right on her head. At the end of last school year, I was almost an eye witness to a young elementary school girl being run over by a car while crossing in a crosswalk with our regular crossing guard holding her big red stop sign up in the air. The crossing guard always waits until traffic is completely stopped in a ll 4 directions before letting the kids come anywhere near the roadway. Not this time, she looked all 3 ways but had her back turned to the car directly in front of me when she let this poor child cross the road. As you should expect, the let’s say 3rd grader did not even look for traffic. Why? – she thinks the crossing guard has done that just like she always does. The driver of the Ford Explorer missed this child by inches and I had my heart drop like a rock. The child, the guard and the driver all stopped in their tracks for several minutes to fully realize what they thankfully avoided. I patiently waited and said a quick prayer of thanks that I did not witness a gruesome crash. After doing this job for 15 years, I could bore you to death with literally thousands of horrific accident stories. Let’s all try to take that extra moment, drive a little slower and make sure we look all 4 ways before proceeding through our school zones. Your day and someone else’s will be much better as a result.