Friday, August 20, 2010

Driving me to Drink or School Zones

On September 10th, (if all goes well on September 9th), I will be a free woman.  No, I’m not getting divorced.  My fourth is getting her license, and since, for the first time in 16 years, there is only one school to drive to, I am off the hook for good!  Wow.  Two hours added back to my day.  I am beside myself with anticipation.  

Does the driving part of parenting get to you as much as it gets to me?  Does anyone else care that I spent from 1:30-5:50pm in the car yesterday?  When you have an online business, being in the car is like having your hands tied behind your back.  I know these statistics may seem important:

one robbery every 49 seconds
one burglary every 10 seconds
Every 1 second a public school student is suspended
Every 10 seconds a public school student is corporally punished
Every 10 seconds someone is involved in a car accident
Venereal disease strikes someone every 5 seconds
A violent crime occurs every 27 seconds
Every 41 seconds a baby is born without health insurance
A child abuse case reported every 10 seconds
Every ten seconds a gun is made
every nine seconds one is imported
A person is arrested every 20 seconds for drug violations
one marijuana smoker is arrested every 54 seconds
a crime is committed every 2 seconds
Every 71 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer's disease
One death every 12 seconds

But how ‘bout: “Every 53 seconds another “urgent” email arrives in my inbox”?? 
Now we’re talking serious!

In honor of my final three weeks of school driving, I think it’s only fair that I celebrate with a rant !  This one I wrote last August, but never got around to posting, so I hope you will enjoy it even at this late date:

The worst part about summer’s end is the advent of the cursed school zone witch hunt by the local cops.

To drive my daughter to high school every morning, it is impossible to avoid passing through at least four separate school zones.  That’s four on the way there and four on the way home.  An hour later, when I drive my son to school, it’s another three each way.  By the time I get home at 8:40 I have slowed down and speeded up fourteen times.  It is inevitable that one of these days I am going to press the accelerator a little too firmly.

Believe me, I love kids.  I have five of my own.  And sure, I want people to be careful if a child is crossing the street.  But I can count on one finger how many children I have actually seen crossing a street in a school zone on any given day.  As a matter of fact, the school zone at the back of the Catholic School appears to have nothing to do with the children walking to school.  The majority of kids are dropped off and enter via the front of the building which is located a block away, where there happens to be no school zone.

The zone that runs along Josephine and York Street between Second and Fourth Avenues is another doozy.  It was hard to not react when the officer that pulled me over for going 30 in the 25 zone addressed me as if I were a hardened criminal instead of a harried mom in between school pick ups of her own kids.  And even though I drive that road every single afternoon during school zone hours, I have never laid eyes on a single child walking along the sidewalk much less anywhere near the road itself.

Besides the fact that the placement of the zones themselves is so arbitrary, the times in which they are in operation, and the speeds which they dictate vary from sign to sign.  While some zones insist that the speed limit is 20 anytime between the hours of 9-6, others are between 7-9 and 2-4. 

Did you ever wonder why the speed limit is 35 at East High School, and only 30 at Denver School of the Arts?  Guess they think the East kids really are tough, or maybe they think the creative types are daydreaming when they cross the street?

But the main question is why?  Why are the local police so intent on ticketing us folks driving these kids, who surely have enough stress in our lives without a trumped up 30 MPH in a 25 MPH zone speeding ticket.  Shouldn’t they be putting their energies into patrolling  I-25 where the crazies weave in and out at 85MPH?

Come on Chix, raise your voices against arbitrary school zones which are not saving lives, but merely filling police coffers with your hard-earned dollars.


  1. Oh, I agree! Congrats on reaching a personal milestone of freedom from school drop-off/pick-up!!

  2. Oh I hear ya! I actually say OUTLOUD to myself when I approach a school zone..."Twenty all the time" that way I know (when a cop pulls me over) I have actually paid attention and am consiously going the speed limit and can (argue) dispute his claim that I was speeding. Ha.
    Of course, I've never been pulled over for speeding (in a school zone) but just in case... Then again, it's been some years that I've actually been driving in a school zone during school hours. Haha
    But that doesn't mean they don't still irritate me.
    Now, I just listen for sirens when I know my speed obeying children are on the road. {sigh}
    And all that will be over too now that all of my offspring are now out of the state for most of the year.
    That reminds me, I must go make my third and final child a 'non-resident' driver! Whoo hoo!