Sunday, April 22, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Common sense should tell drivers to slow down in front of schools

Every morning as I stand on the corner waiting to walk my son across the street to his elementary school, I see the same thing.

Cars speed and weave through traffic, and some drivers impatiently honk their horns. It's as if the flashing yellow lights indicating a 20 mph speed limit school zone aren't even there.

It'd be one thing if this were an occasional occurrence, but it happens every single day.

As we stand holding our children's hands, my friends and I grow upset about what we see. Some cars drive by at twice the speed limit, and others swerve recklessly to avoid the standstill traffic in the right lane. The parents aren't the only ones who take notice. The kids will point out the excessive speed of certain cars.

When drivers don't obey the law, we send a bad message to our kids. Since this is an elementary school, no child crosses the street without a parent, but this isn't the case with middle and high school students.

With the recent news of a car striking and killing a Middleton High School student and injuring her sister, you would think that drivers would be extra cautious near schools.

Unfortunately, some people are in such a hurry that they ignore traffic signs and speed limits and put kids' safety at risk.

While drivers need to heed traffic laws, parents also need to teach kids proper safety rules.

As parents, we know it's important that children understand the rules of the road. I remember having a police officer come to our elementary school when I was a young girl and talk to us about safety. She told us to look both ways before crossing the street, and to pay attention to the crosswalk signals. It may sound simple, but these are important life-saving lessons for kids.

Today, the University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research offers an expert who can come to your school and talk about its "Walk Wise" program.

The Tampa Bay area is notorious for heavy traffic and roads constantly under construction. This can lead to a longer morning commute, which causes drivers to become frustrated. Sadly, this is evident every day in front of my son's elementary school.

Maybe if they took a minute during the rush and thought about how the pedestrian rate in Florida is twice the national average, people would be patient, use common sense, and slow down.

Children shouldn't be at risk walking to school.

Comments
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

St. Anthony’s Triathlon: World class athletes and Olympians race around St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Sunday ($160-$180), while kids and novices race Saturday in the Meek and Mighty. A free kick-off celebration Friday has a concert by country artist...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — HGTV fanatic that he is, Spencer Chamberlain sees a metaphor for his band in the ever-evolving St. Petersburg skyline."When you go downtown and you look at the ONE, that used to be a dirt parking lot," said the singer, referring to a...
Published: 04/20/18

Tell Me About It: Family reconsiders taking group trips

Q: Should there be expectations about taking vacations/trips with other family members? We have two issues:(1) We have three kids, including teenagers, and my brother and wife have two kids. The younger is 6. My wife and I find it hard to plan someth...
Published: 04/20/18
On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

ORLANDO — When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened 20 years ago, it was light on thrills and heavy on conservation. On April 22, 1998, Earth Day, the Orlando park had a single thrill ride, Countdown to Extinction, and a handful of shows like ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Tell Me About It: How to deal with conversation dominators

Q: We have a few relatives, including a sibling, who we don’t see or hear from often, as we are busy or live far away. We meet over a meal or for an hour or so, or at family gatherings requiring a drive, and I am so frustrated that they dominate the ...
Published: 04/19/18
Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

PURE NIRVANA: Foo FightersDave Grohl may be America’s last unquestioned rock god. He’s played with Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Page, Tom Petty and Trent Reznor and St. Vincent, and he also leads a pretty decent group — perhaps you’ve heard of them — called...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Plan your weekend: Kenny Chesney, ‘The Producers’ in the park, Mainsail Art Fest, Sugar Sand Fest, Earth Day

Plan your weekend: Kenny Chesney, ‘The Producers’ in the park, Mainsail Art Fest, Sugar Sand Fest, Earth Day

The top things to do April 20 to 22 in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the whole Tampa Bay area.
Published: 04/18/18
The newest trend for Tampa date nights? Indoor ax throwing

The newest trend for Tampa date nights? Indoor ax throwing

Axe Throwing Tampa and Raider Axe Lodge are bringing the axe-throwing trend to the Tampa Bay area.
Published: 04/18/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay: Sugar Sand Festival, Record Store Day, ZooBrews, Beerfest

Top things to do in Tampa Bay: Sugar Sand Festival, Record Store Day, ZooBrews, Beerfest

BEER: ZooBrews and BeerfestAs if we needed any more proof of the craft beer craze, this weekend brings two events with a smorgasbord of samplings. • The newly renamed ZooTampa at Lowry Park is calling ZooBrews a new event that appears to be an awful ...
Published: 04/18/18
5 things to do under $5: Taste of Science talks, free ‘Field of Dreams’ screening

5 things to do under $5: Taste of Science talks, free ‘Field of Dreams’ screening

1 Field of Dreams: Kick off baseball season with Tampa Bay Rays mascots and a movie that makes every baseball fan cry. Raymond and DJ Kitty will be at Tampa Theatre for photos and you can join in a Take Me Out to the Ballpark sing-along on the Mighty...
Published: 04/18/18