At some point in time before the summer is over a child in Piercefield Forest will die or be seriously injured; and it will be preventable. It wasn’t that many years ago a child was hit and killed in this subdivision.
Speeding is prevalent everywhere, but the consequences can be severe in suburbs where the streets can appear to be empty-until a child runs out chasing a ball or a duck. There was an interesting letter to the editor in the Bryan County News this week written by Bob Dallas, the Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety which addressed the issue of speeders. Three hundred and eighty four people were killed in 2007 due to speed related issues; more than one a day. While his letter dealt with high speed on the highways, my issue concerns those motorists who routinely speed down the suburb roads, often in excess of 40 mph. This in a 25 mph zone. I have seen cars going much faster. In fact, I have seen teens actually dragging down the road after school; apparently playing a form of chicken, as there are always cars parked alongside the road.
A few years ago, this wasn’t a major issue on my particular street as the children that moved in when the neighborhood was built had grown and moved. We now have another generation of children that have moved in. In three families alone, close to my own house there are eleven children, nine of them under the age of ten. At the South end of the street, there seems to be a small army of children that have moved in.
Anyone who has raised children knows you can teach, preach, and constantly harp on the issue of looking both ways and staying out of the streets; but when the kids are energized and chasing that ball, all common sense and wisdom fly out the window. In the spring and summer months, the streets get even more crowded with youngsters skateboarding and playing those bizarre games kids play. There are always pedestrians; kids walking to and from school or just people out enjoying a nice stroll.
Of interest to me are those speeders who have emblems or stickers on their cars proclaiming themselves to be members of organizations that claim to support the nations and communities laws; church groups, scouts, Masons, police benevolent societies of one kind or another, or actual law enforcement officers. A quick question. How do you determine just which of our laws you will choose to obey and which ones you determine are not worthy of respecting? Convenience? That seems to call for a rather interesting moral compass. How do you teach your children to respect the laws when you, as a speeder, are in violation of those laws and the kids know it? It gets even worse when you argue and lie to the officer then badmouth him while driving off. Great example for your children.
Please. Slow down. Do the speed limit.