Speed demons bear down on Meridian's future
Aug. 29, 2001
If you believe, as we all must, that our children are our future, then you must also believe we have to use every available means of protecting, nurturing, educating and training them for leadership. That is our job as responsible adults in our community.
It goes without saying that for kids to achieve the great things that lie in store, they must survive childhood. Unfortunately, far too many Meridian drivers are tempting fate when they disregard speed warnings in school zones. These drivers are more than inconsiderate; they are jeopardizing the future.
An informal survey by The Meridian Star at a busy school crossing one morning last week found not a single driver observed in a 10-minute period heeded the 15 mph speed limit. Not one. Neither flashing yellow lights nor the presence of a Police Department speed detector caught their attention.
One driver was clocked at an incredible 59 mph as he headed west on Eighth Street and that's 44 miles per hour faster than the posted speed when children are present.
Similar stories are told at other school crossings of near-misses and, unfortunately, a few instances of children being struck by cars are already on the record from previous school years.
What will it take to stop the speeding before tragedy strikes?
It will take a concerned community of responsible drivers working with the Meridian Police Department, parents and school administrators.
It will take more intensive efforts to police these zones. Offenders should be arrested on the spot. Maybe the blue lights of a police cruiser and the sight of a few offenders being hauled away will help slow down other traffic. Such people would likely be late for work and, perhaps, learn a lesson that will save a life.
It will take a commitment from school officials to constantly reinforce in the minds of students that crossings are dangerous.
School work is hard enough for most students already. Getting to the classroom safely should be the least of their worries.
Trying to shave a few minutes off the daily trip to work by speeding through school zones is just not worth it. The stakes are too high.