“School’s for the summer,” I remember when those song lyrics brought joy to my ears as I headed into a few months of blissful lack of responsibility and carefree fun. These days it makes me feel empathy for my wife trying to fill the day with activities to keep our kids engaged and out of trouble. A busy kid is a happy kid, for the most part anyway. The day after school was out, my 8-year-old was up early getting his chores done so he could play all day with his friends, from the moment they were allowed to until dinner.
Aside from the kids needing something to do, school being out does mean no more having to time my commute to avoid the crossing guards and lights at the school on my common route to work. At least this is what I thought; so far whoever is in charge of turning off the crossing lights for the season hasn’t done their job. They are timed based on the school schedule, but obviously not for the year. I would imagine that someone is in charge of turning off the system during the summer and back on for the school year.
As a result, there is a mixture of people that are slowing down to the required 20 mph because the lights are on, and others that are tooling right on through at full speed because they know school is out. Legally, if those lights are on, you have to slow down. Some opportunistic cop could have a field day writing tickets right now, though they would have some big arguments on their hands I am sure. Me, I’m paranoid about getting a ticket, so I am one of those slowing down. I’d like to say it is because I respect the sanctity of those lights, but I try to stay honest on this site. It is the fear factor, I admit it.
The real problem I have with the lights still being on, other than the annoyance, is that people lost respect for the lights. It is like a visual crying wolf that many people are tuning out. So what happens to someone not paying attention that the school year has started back up and zips on through the school zone at their typical 5 mph over the speed limit? Of course, they would be in the wrong, but my fear is for the safety of those kids that really don’t pay as much attention as they should and believe the lights and crosswalk are really going to protect them.
So for my sanity, annoyance factor, and in reality for the future safety of kids this fall, whoever is in charge of those things please shut them off!