You know the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, this is a picture of our sign that was hit recently and I am guessing that most of the community has a lot more than “a thousand words” to describe this. What’s sad (besides the obvious), is that this is not the first sign that ended up like this in the past year alone. It is our fourth!

What scares me is that one of these signs is about the same height as the average student that attends our elementary school, give or take an inch or two. If someone is not paying attention so much as to where they hit a sign like they did this one, who’s to say they will pay attention when a student is walking out in front of them?

Just this past week alone, I saw a driver flossing their teeth, quite a few others texting, two women putting on makeup, and a man reading a newspaper all while they were driving through the crosswalk and school zone areas. How can you possibly pay attention to the crosswalk area when you have both hands holding a piece of floss while you are looking at your rearview mirror while driving with your elbows? Or how can you make sure that a child did not dart out in front of you when you are too busy separating your eyelashes ever so carefully with your mascara? I am sure you think you are very talented at multi-tasking, but you aren’t that good at it if you blew through the “Crossing Guard” sign that was up five seconds before you entered the crosswalk.

It’s pretty sad if we think that flossing our teeth and putting on makeup is more important than paying attention to areas where there are children crossing the street to get to school.

You want to know what else is pretty disappointing? That at least four people this year thought that doing other things while they were driving was more important than paying attention in the school zone areas where four of our signs have been damaged. You know who you are. Clearly hitting a sign like the picture shown had to leave some significant damage on your car. But did you ever stop and think, “Oh my gosh, I could have just hit a child.”

Start paying attention and stop hitting signs. This is not a video game where you can get 10 points for every sign you hit. This is real life. If you don’t pay attention, the next time you hit a sign, it could be a child instead.

For all of those that drive safely everyday, thank you very much. We do notice you and appreciate your responsible driving.

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

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