Halloween is the only nationally recognized event that specifically devotes an entire evening to kids getting outdoors with friends, all to have a good and silly time.
That’s what childhood should be about, right?
It should, but safety organizations and transportation departments across the country are busy printing flyers that ask kids to dress up like fluorescent traffic cones and march around like army soldiers while trick-or-treating.
How many of these flyers put the onus on drivers and drivers alone?
Let’s be real about this: No amount of reflective tape is clever enough to protect someone from drivers that are speeding, intoxicated, or those who are bad drivers in the first place.1
Case in point: Last year, a crossing guard in Orange Park, Florida – wearing a high-vis vest while holding a flashing red LED lightbar and stop sign – was hit in the middle of a crosswalk by a driver who literally drove into her. In a school zone. It was caught on video.2
Three days ago, the same thing happened in South Carolina; once again, caught by a dash cam.
Last December, a hit-and-run in Columbus, Ohio of a crossing guard wearing bright red, from head to toe.
Please understand that this may be disturbing for some viewers:
JUST IN: PAY ATTENTION | A crossing guard in Clay County was hit by a car this morning in front of Oakleaf High School. FHP released video with this message: “Please pay attention while driving in school zones.”
— News4JAX (@wjxt4) August 27, 2018
These are just a few that were captured on video – and they happened in school zones.
What do you think these same people do in neighborhoods? They drive too fast and put others in danger, regardless of how much hi-vis is being worn.3 Even though automobile headlights are more than adequate to light up a street and reflective clothing, this cannot compensate for the loss of reaction time and stopping distance.
Those who argue that they have the right to charge through a neighborhood full of trick-or-treaters at 34 mph because the speed limit sign says “SPEED LIMIT 35” are the problem children that safety campaigns need to target.
We have no right to put the onus on kids for their own safety when we have created a monster of a system that lets almost anyone pilot a two-ton vehicle through our streets with minimal expectations for operational safety and minor consequences for irresponsible behavior.
If you have any iota of appreciation for the immense imbalance in our system, put the onus where it belongs: Drivers.
”YOU CAN’T SEE ME? I’m in bright yellow!”
A Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools crossing guard was hit by a truck, knocked off her feet outside of Old Providence Elementary School. Now parents are demanding action.
— Lauren Dugan (@LaurenDuganTV) December 7, 2018
- Society is so busy looking for functional issues to blame bad driving on that we have forgotten that some people do not require any outside influence to make bad, life-changing errors behind the wheel. In addition, by highlighting the functional issues with such regularity, we marginalize and forget that some people are inherently irresponsible drivers.
- Worn by parents, kids, trees, light poles, bus stops, house walls, and whatever else drivers seem to crash into with alarming frequency.