By Stephen Dafoe
Coming home the other day, I had to brake for a young man riding along the road on his bicycle, weaving around oblivious to anything except the text message he appeared to be sending on his cell phone. I hit the brakes a second time as he weaved out in front of me once again on the next street, still trying to navigate the cell phone with one hand.
A half block later I hit the brakes for one of his friends who, like his buddy, apparently had no peripheral vision or the common sense to use it. Neither of the young men was wearing a helmet.
Now granted, I didn’t wear down any brake pad or leave any skid marks on the pavement stopping for these two, but if I hadn’t been doing my part to be both their eyes and ears, both of them might have been laying some skid marks of their own – in their shorts.
Children are back to school Wednesday throughout Sturgeon County and because drivers seem to forget the rules over the summer, just like they seem to forget how to drive in winter, it is necessary for the RCMP and the Government of Alberta to issue press releases so that we in the news business can be reminded to remind our readers to slow down in school zones and to stop for busses – little things that should make as much common sense as not texting while you are riding a bicycle across the road.
But those of us old enough to drive are also old enough to take the burden of responsibility in maintaining school zone safety.
And while the onus falls on us as drivers to slow down and keep our eyes open, our onus as parents is to make sure our children do not leave the house with their bikes unless there is a bike helmet on their head. The onus is on us to make sure that our children are reminded of those safety rules once again, and again, and again.
School zone safety is a two-way street, one in which the responsibility for our driving habits and ensuring our children’s build the common sense to get safely to and from school rests entirely with us.