Drivers should do the right thing in school zones - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Drivers should do the right thing in school zones

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Michelle "Mikey" Arana

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Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 8:00 am

Have you ever heard that building good character can be categorized as what we all do when no one is looking? 

It is so easy to want to do the right thing only because someone else is watching, or because there may be a reward at the end. Yet, shouldn't we want to always do the right thing whether someone is watching us or not?

Everyone knows that the speed limit in a school zone is 15 mph. If you don't remember from when you took your driver's license exam, then you can see it every single morning posted around all school zones.

If you see that sign, then hopefully you will also notice the sign that says: "Stop When Children Are In Crosswalk." These two signs are extremely important to notice every school day to ensure children and pedestrian safety.

Even though the signs are up, people are still speeding well past 15 mph and blowing through the crosswalk when the stop sign is up, despite the fact that sometimes children and pedestrians may still be in the crosswalk.

Why is that?

If I had to guess (although this is definitely no excuse), one reason is probably because the speeders think that they can get away with it because they think no one saw them speed through the crosswalk, or that no one noticed that they blew through the stop sign.

For all of the speeders out there, if you truly think that no one notices that you speed on a daily basis, you are sadly wrong.

Other cars that do obey the speed limit notice when you zip past them, and if you have ever been honked at while driving through a school zone it's because responsible drivers are trying to let you know that you are driving irresponsibly.

Because you made a choice to speed, or decided to keep driving even though the crossing guard has the stop sign up, the students also notice when they have to wait longer to cross the street.

Everyone notices when you drive irresponsibly.

Doing the right thing means doing the right thing all the time, every time, whether someone is watching or not.

You are lying to yourself if you think it is OK to speed in the school zones just because you think that no one is looking, or you don't think that you will get caught.

Stop kidding yourself, and stop speeding.

Every time we catch you speeding we take down your license plate number and report you. We do the same to people who refuse to stop, and also to the people that blow through the stop sign.

It should be a no-brainer that you should not want to speed because you would hate to see something terrible happen to a student or a pedestrian. But if you can't see what is wrong with speeding, than at least look at it as saving, yourself from getting a ticket.

As always, a big thank you to all of you that always stop when the stop sign is up, those that pay attention, and those that drive no faster than 15 mph.

We all appreciate the example you are setting and we are noticing that the responsible drivers are outnumbering the irresponsible drivers.

Thank you for doing the right thing, and for keeping our students and pedestrians safe.

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

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