EDITORIAL: Prepare for influx of kids on streets

Slow down, pay attention and save a life

Whether it evokes jubilation, despair or indifference, there’s no getting around the fact that students are heading back to school in less than two weeks.

That means a huge increase in the number of kids on the street on foot, bikes, scooters and skateboards, so it’s a good idea to consider the consequences if you spend any amount of time behind the wheel.

While we need to be careful at all times when we drive, the probability of a youngster dashing across the street without warning because they’re late for class, or wandering into a crosswalk distracted by their handheld device increases in leaps and bounds.

That deserted school zone you’ve been ignoring for the past two months on your daily commute is now full of kids of all ages in all shapes and sizes with vastly diverse reaction times, not to mention you’re also sharing the road with a percentage of parents in a hurry to get their critters deposited at the curb quickly so they can scurry off to work.

Stop for a moment and think about how many lives would change forever because you looked down at your phone for half a second, decided to drive home after a two-martini lunch or hit the gas a little harder because you were late for a meeting with the boss.

How would you feel if that lapse in judgment tragically, horrifically altered the orbit of one person you know, or hundreds of people you never met? Imagine how difficult it would be to live with the fact that nothing you do will ever erase the permanent damage you’ve done.

So take a few moments to have a frank discussion with your family members and friends who still don’t seem to get it right, that it’s never okay to drive drunk, doped or distracted, that there’s never a good reason to exceed the speed limit.

Then have the same talk with your kids and remind them to be extra careful all the time because some people just don’t get it, just don’t care, or both.

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