While patrolling the school zones this morning (9/20/12), I had occasion to stop a dad for driving and parking on the wrong side of the road in front of the elementary school.
I explained to him that was unsafe. Rather than acknowledging his mistake, he replied he was just dropping off his kid and that he sees others do this all the time.
The sad truth is that there is a small percentage of parents, and even some school staff, who don’t pay attention or see any danger in committing minor violations in school zones.
They park too close to, or on top of, both marked and unmarked crosswalks; they drive and park on the wrong sides of the streets; and they drive faster than the 15 mph posted speed limit.
From my observations, some of this is just thoughtlessness.
However, some simply don’t want to be inconvenienced by having to park a half block away before walking their young students to safety or attending to something at the school.
Meanwhile, children are having to negotiate their way around obstacles while driver’s can’t see who might be ready to cross the street.
And if a driver is going faster than the speed limit, we have the ingredients for a tragic event. Come on folks. Keep your brains engaged when driving or parking in school zones.
We’re the adults and owe it to the kids to be responsible.
Priest River Chief of Police
PS. If you’ve forgotten some of the basics about the rules of the road or parking, you can find a link to the Priest River City Code on the City’s web site.
There is a link to Idaho Code on the Police Department’s web page.