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RonO's Ramblings

May. 14th, 2010 08:39 am This Morning...

...I was dropping The Kid off at his school, when I was passed by a parent who apparently couldn't let their precious bundle of a middle school student walk any further than absolutely necessary - and nearly hit my son and my car in the process.

The Kid's school shares a parking entrance with the adjacent high school, and one could use the same circular driveway - more a roundabout with only one entrance and one exit that are in the opposite directions - that is shared between both schools for drop offs. But, the preferred way for dropping off and picking up middle school students is to use a marked curb lane on the side of the parking lot adjacent to the middle school.

When we'd pulled in there were no other cars in the drop off lane, so I pulled forward to the far end - which is the closest to the school entrance and said "good bye" to The Kid. He then started to get out of the car on, unfortunately, the non-curb side since the drop off lane is on the left-hand side of the driveway. I looked back and tried to warn him as a car was shooting up the driveway much faster than is sane in a parking lot near middle and high school kids. I tried to warn him to watch out for the car, but he didn't hear me in time and still opened the door - probably no more than a couple of feet from the front of the other car.

As he was getting out and walking around, I noticed that the other driver pulled IN FRONT of the drop off lane - against the curb where the driveway narrows for its intersection with the aforementioned circular driveway - and was dropping of a kid. So this driver saved his or her child maybe 15 feet of walking by nearly killing my child and totaling both cars.

And I thought that the hospital employees who tried to drum up business by the way they drove through the student part of the shared parking garage at UNM were dangerous.

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Date:May 14th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
People on bikeforums who will ride on 60 MPH roads with no shoulder won't come near school drop-off areas when school is coming in/out of session - they claim they're probably about the most dangerous place you can be on the road.

Ironically, many of these people are dropping off their kids because they believe that it's "safer" than riding the bus - but in fact not only is the bus a safer mode of transport than a personal automobile, but getting on/off the bus is also far safer than getting in/out of a personal car.

While the driver was doing something stupid and dangerous, please be sure to let the kid know that it's legally and sensibly required for passengers to check for oncoming traffic before opening the door. Even in a parking lot, people can get seriously injured by doors.
Date:May 14th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
FWIW, for safety, when I'm dropping my kid off and there's any amount of traffic, I actually stop far away and MAKE him walk; either on the curb way out at the street, or I actually pull into a parking spot at the far end of the lot. He'll be able to see and respond to stuff when he's away from the car that he wouldn't when cutting around between cars and such.
Date:May 15th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
One point to note is that genetic drift has caused recent generations of children to becoem water-soluble, so they *must* be driven as close to school as possible.

John - I take your point - with my GoPro Hero HD bike cam, I've got a couple of bits of choice video of idiotic parental behaviour outside the various schools near here.

Edited at 2010-05-15 04:30 pm (UTC)