School crosswalk speeders beware - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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School crosswalk speeders beware

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Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 10:29 am

Did you know that as a school crossing guard, we see an average of at least four speeders per day? That translates to at least 20 speeders in a school crosswalk per week.

Now, do the math. Twenty speeders per week times, let's say 40 weeks of school give or take Christmas break, spring and fall breaks and the summer months, equals 800 speeders per school year at just one campus.

Think of the total amount of speeders that means for every single school that is out here in our community. Now my math may be off, or maybe it is just me, but that number is outrageous.

That means that when 20 drivers speed past our school crosswalks each week, that's how many times they are endangering our kids, the parents that are taking their kids to school, and other drivers that are on the road.

They are speeding just to get to where they need to be because they are in that much of a hurry that endangering other people's lives, including our kids, is not important to them.

There is something really wrong with this picture. The number of speeders per school year at one location should not be 800. It should be more like 0.

There is absolutely no excuse at all why anyone should be going over 15 mph in a school zone and crosswalk area. Absolutely no excuse.

Obviously, there are signs telling drivers that the speed limit is 15 mph and it gives a heads up that drivers are approaching a crosswalk and to stop when children are in the crosswalk.

I mean, if you are not even paying attention enough to where you don't realize that you are passing by a school then you should not be driving at all.

There is a reason why it is 15 mph. That 15 mph is a safe speed to travel while passing the school, but also a safe speed to allow you to stop suddenly if necessary or to have a good stopping time when the crossing guard holds up their stop signs. It's not 35 mph or 55 mph, or even 20 mph, it's just 15 mph.

Simple as that.

Please follow the speed limit when you are near a school, in a school zone and, especially, when approaching school crosswalks because it is vital for the safety of our kids.

Just think about it. If your speeding caused an accident that involved a child, is wherever you were in a hurry to go really worth speeding to get to in the first place?

FYI for all of the serial speeders out there: If we catch you speeding, we do take down your license plate number and report you to the police.

So you might want to think twice next time before you decide to put kids and other people's lives in danger by speeding just because you are in such a hurry to get somewhere.

For those of you that do drive 15 mph or less, thank you for helping to keep our kids safe.

• Michelle Arana is a crossing guard at Kyrene de los Cerritos Elementary School in Ahwatukee Foothills.

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