It really it home yesterday. About a block away from a school, a pedestrian was struck just when it was dismissal time. One block away from one of the busiest elementary schools in Toronto. The school is in the middle of the neighbourhood and not on a major road. But it happened. Again.
The circumstances that lead to this fatal and tragic accident are currently being investigated but it happens all too often. We all see the cars who roll through the intersections and everyone is in a hurry. We all think that it's "them" not "us". THEY should be paying more attention.
Yes, ma'am...you're in a rush to get to your son to school. So am I.
Yes, sir...I realize you're late for work. So am I.
Yes, I do understand you have to answer to your boss who's calling you now. Me too.
I walk everywhere. I don't drive.
I see moms rushing in their cars and SUVs - with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand pressing a phone against her ear. I'm THAT mom who throws her arms in the air mouthing off WTF. I am that MOM that WILL and HAVE slammed the palm of my hand onto a car hood or windshield to grab the attention of a driver who doesn't see me and my kid. In fact, once a woman actually yelled at me for doing this because I HAD STARTLED HER. "Lady, if you're that close to hitting me and I can touch your car...yeah, I startled you." I replied and she turned away swearing under her breathe telling me I'm making HER late.
And the teens blaring out their music singing happily along at the top of their lungs, I see them too. I see dads jumping into their cars and backing out of their driveways faster than Superman. I see construction crews rubbing their eyes at the early morning call times racing to get the job done before sundown.
I see the winter coming. The ice. The piled up snow that makes our streets even more narrow and blinding.
I tell my kids to wear brighter colours and to watch out for people in a hurry. I tell them to make sure they make eye contact with drivers before crossing. And I cringe when I see them forget.
But I'm not perfect either. I'm walking and sometimes I'm tweeting or texting. I've got my earbuds in place listening to Ri-Ri.
Yesterday hit me real hard. So, no more. I swear.
I will be more responsible.
According to InsuranceHunter.ca, nearly one third of parents polled feel their child will be in a vehicle accident on their way to or from school.
74% of parents polled have witnessed drivers speeding in the school zone.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE? Who is responsible?
Recently Toronto Police got together with parent bloggers to discuss this very topic hosted by the InsuranceHunter.ca. Serves as a good reminder for all of us.