A Warmer Weather Reminder: Please Slow Down

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slow downYes, it’s nice out, and I know we are all so ready for beautiful weather, but here’s a friendly reminder to SLOW DOWN!

Now that it’s getting warmer, we are seeing more people out and about; more kids playing basketball in driveways, more people out on bikes, people walking dogs SO exciting, right? Yet, drivers need to be mindful and remember to use caution and adhere to speed limits. A few seconds saved by speeding are not at all worth someone’s life.

In particular, we absolutely have to be vigilant about bus safety. I mean, a stopped bus is a stopped bus for a reason: There are children either getting on or off the bus. How in THE world do some people not understand that? Even though the school year is winding down, there will still be buses out this summer for summer school and other activities.

Nothing ignites terror in you faster than seeing your son stepping off the bus, and getting ready to run towards you, but then you see a vehicle driving along and completely disregarding the bus stop sign and flashing lights. Personally, this has happened to us three times in the past couple of months.

It was especially terrifying in one instance where a driver skidded to a halt when the bus honked, then literally peeled off and left smoke. You would think it would end there, but unfortunately, it didn’t. This individual sped around the neighborhood and tailgated the bus, then passed the bus on the right side of the road, ignoring a stop sign. He was upset the bus driver honked at him, so he road raged on her as she still had a bus full of children to transport. Are you shaking your head yet?

Thankfully, we got his license plate, and the bus had video footage to submit to the police, so the driver was issued three different citations. I hope he learned his lesson and slows down and stops for buses unloading children. (Also, I realize I sound old with that statement, but I don’t care.)

A couple of years ago there was a heart-breaking bus tragedy that killed three siblings in Northern Indiana, thus prompting the legislature to increase penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses. But when will people truly learn?

Is it just me, or have people been driving faster than ever? I understand we have all endured so, so much over the past year, and with the pandemic and the quarantine, we have a lot of pent-up emotions. Yet, it’s downright scary to see the speeds that some drivers are logging out on the road, especially in neighborhoods. Again, I may sound like a crazy old lady, which I am, but regardless, there is still truth to what I am saying.

Here are some helpful tips and reminders about safety on the road, especially when it comes to buses…it’s nothing new, but it’s worth repeating if it helps spread awareness!

  1. Children often dart into the street without looking for traffic; SLOW DOWN when in neighborhoods.

2. Yellow flashing lights mean a bus is preparing to stop, load or unload children. Vehicles should slow down and prepare to stop.

3. Red flashing lights and the activated stop sign indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Vehicles need to STOP and wait until the red lights stop flashing.

4. Heightened awareness matters. Yes, it’s nice out, and I’m also a huge fan of enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather and dancing to songs as I drive…but be alert.

5. Slow down! Obey the rules! It’s just not worth the risk.

When driving anywhere, we have to ask ourselves, is it worth it to speed? To be distracted on our phones? To ignore stopped buses? I suggest we not even dapple in the land of “What if”; instead, let’s just focus on what we can control and what we can do to be safe and courteous.

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