Think twice before speeding through school zones
Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:46:22 GMT —
Kids walk to school almost every day here in the Tri-States...more so on warm days like Thursday.
With thirteen schools inside the Quincy city limits, that means a lot of kids could be out walking...and not necessarily paying attention to the traffic around them.
That's why it's so important for you to obey the 20-mile-an-hour speed limit in school zones.
A flashing light, a bright yellow sign, a radar detector showing you how fast you're going...all signs you're driving in a school zone, and you need to slow down. There's a good reason school zone speed limits are 10 miles an hour slower than most other Quincy streets...the extra time it would take you to stop and avoid hitting a child.
We decided to put that to the test. Two cones were set up. The first was where the break was pressed. The second represents the child crossing the street.
Going 20 mph, there was about five feet between the front of the car and the child.
At 30 miles per hour, that child didn't have a chance.
"No one would feel worse if they were to hit a child. Sometimes it wouldn't be their fault at all but we just have to keep in mind that kids don't always cross the sidewalks when they should and at the right time," said Lemon.
Neal Meyer with the Quincy Police Department told me speeding in school zones doesn't happen very often...in fact, the department tracked fewer than 10 percent of cars speeding in school zones. North 8th street curves near Washington School, so you can't see the entire school zone. Meyer says driving the speed limit is especially important here.
"Drive 20 between 7 am and 4 pm on any school day regardless of whether they see children or not," said Meyer.
With spring on its way, kids are more likely to be out walking to and from school and not necessarily paying attention.
"Children are just unpredictable. They don't always cross the sidewalks in the right places. They sometimes dart in front of cars. It's that student mentality that they're infallible," said Quincy Superintendent Lonny Lemon.
It's also important to remember that cell phone use is illegal in school zones.
That means texting and talking on the phone.