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Friday, September 14, 2012

Slow down for stupid

Posted on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I would love to know what a certain politician was smoking when he saw the logic behind the new law that requires drivers to slow down to 30 km/hr in certain school zones when children are on the highway or within 30m of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for safety and I usually abide to the posted speed limit. However, I am also a fan of common sense and this new law promotes anything but.

Apparently 30 km/hr was chosen based on mortality statistics: children who are hit by a car driving at 30 km/hr have a higher chance of surviving than if the car was driving at 50 km/hr. Fair enough. However, in school districts where the surrounding speed limit is higher than 50, drivers must slow down to 50. So even though driving slower than 50 may save lives, in these districts, 50 is okay? Are these precious lives less valuable than those who are fortunate enough to be in a school zone where the surrounding speed limit is 50? The law should be consistent. Personally, I thought the old law where speed fines were double in school zones made a lot more sense. Furthermore, why is it a good idea for a driver to be looking around the road at night or when visibility is reduced to see if children are potentially present? It is well known that diverting your attention from the road causes accidents so this makes no sense either. There are several scenarios where it would be impossible to know if “children are present.”

A second reason why this law is vague is the failure to clearly define what is considered a child. I’m assuming this includes anyone under the age of 18. But do I always have to exercise my best judgment when I see some teenager walking down the street? The way some of these kids dress today, they could easily be mistaken as adults. Let's hope they are carrying some ID, so there won’t be any dispute if you’re issued a ticket. What about a pregnant woman? Those pro lifers would argue that she is with child. Okay, now I am getting controversial. Let's assume it only includes children out of the womb. What about a mother pushing a stroller down the sidewalk? Do I have to slow down to 30 km/hr for them too? Technically, the law would dictate yes but there is little reason for it in this situation. I think a better idea would be to teach these kids some lessons on common sense like looking both ways before you cross the street. Furthermore, if you are old enough to legally drive, I don’t think I should have to slow down for you either.

My final issue with this law is that it wasn’t implemented properly. The Statue in the MVA pertaining to this states that there needs to be clear signage warning drivers when they are entering and leaving school zones. However, I live in an area where there are three schools in a row and there is not one sign that says beginning or end of school zone. And there are no signs advising drivers to slow down to 30 km/hr either. If you got a ticket here, you would most definitely have a case for getting out of it. It’s not hard to see that this law is a cash cow. If this was only enforced during school hours, that would be logical. But there is no rhyme or reason for having it in place 24/7 other than to increase the odds of generating revenue. —Adult with a Brain Present

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