Wednesday, July 20, 2011

School Safety Zones

One thing that even most hardened petrolheads won't speak against is the idea that you should drive slowly and carefully past schools.

Unfortunately, children have a habit of popping up in all sorts of unexpected places at unexpected times. So the idea that 20MPH in the immediate vicinity of a school is sufficient and motorists can revert to their usual speedy inattentive ways when they are more than a hundred yards away from a school gate is flawed. As 20sPlenty point out:

"...why are we so pre-occupied with school safety zones if children are most likely to be casualties on the rest of the road network where there are higher speed limits, and when they are not on the way to or from school?"

Tragedies like this one are a reminder that children are more vulnerable to cars when they are not at school. The 14-year-old victim was hit outside a leisure park on the busy, 4-lane dual carriageway with a 40 MPH limit. The driver has been charged with causing death by careless driving.

When you drive, you need to be constantly alert and mindful of the fact that you need to be driving in a way that enables you to avoid collisions, rather than just not be the direct cause of one. But the law makes no such assumption. With 'Road Safety', we're taught from an early age that it is the child's responsibility to avoid being hit by a car. That's why it's such a relief to grow up, get a license, get behind the wheel and relax in the knowledge that collisions are now somebody else's fault for getting in you way.

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