To show we’re more than road testers and news writers, members of the CarAdvice team will from here on in present regular editorial pieces on a topic close to their heart … or simply something they need to get of their chest.
Every morning when leaving for work I have to pass through a school zone some two blocks from my estate. It’s the worst five minutes of my driving day.
It’s unavoidable too, I have no other way around, and though it may seem a small deal to most, this one small section of road is loathed by myself, and quite a few of my neighbours, and I’ll tell you why in one single word: attitude.
The disturbing display of driving behaviour, lack of courtesy and utter contempt shown by the majority of parents dropping their ‘little darlings’ off to school each morning is completely deplorable.
You’d be wrong if you thought parents are supposed to be role models, setting good examples for their kids, because it simply doesn’t happen.
Now, not to sound frightfully old, but back in my day we rode bikes to school, and though this presents issues of its own, it pales into insignificance when you compare it to the utter stupidity and shocking attitudes shown outside this, and I’m sure many other schools each morning.
Tailgating of those who obey the 40km/h limit, speeding, double parking, triple parking, driving on to nature strips, not stopping for the Children’s Crossing, sudden braking or swerving into prime parking spots, inattentive driving and, believe it or not, obscene verbal road rage … and the list goes on.
Worst of all I see it every single morning – without fail.
When school went back earlier this year, St. Kilda police (an inner Melbourne suburb) caught 17 drivers speeding in one morning – a 90 minute period – and this was the first day back for the school term.
One driver was nabbed doing 97km/h in the 40km/h school zone!
To add insult to injury, a few weeks later in Victoria’s second largest city of Geelong, 25 drivers were caught in that same 90 minute time-frame outside one school, the majority of offenders caught were parents of children at that same school.
Now to highlight my point about attitude, and this is a ripper, after being pulled over for speeding a mother in question remarked “do what you need to do, I’m in hurry to pick my kids up”.
Several parents were also nabbed for drink-driving offences, not wearing seatbelts and talking on a mobile phone during that same period.
And you wonder why I’m nervous!
One morning I’m convinced I’m going to be hit, or worse still, see an accident involving a child.
It’s a pathetic lack of respect and a danger to the young lives we’re supposed to value above even our own, and yet it happens day-in, day-out.
As far as I’m concerned it’s about time School Zones were more heavily policed, for maybe then, with any luck, these irresponsible parents might get it through their thick heads that safe driving in school zones is far more important than dropping your kids within a metre of the front gate.