Being a generally happy human being with not too much to complain about, I rarely ever use this space to rant about things. The only times I recall doing so were when people in positions of power abuse them and it gets under my skin.
The other day as I was coming home from picking up my son from preschool we were traveling through a school zone that is part of our daily route. This school zone is on a very busy road in South Austin and I always make sure I am going slow so I don't kill or badly injure any kids. One of Austin's finest police officers wasn't thinking that way on this day. I was hovering right around 20 MPH when the patrol car cruised by in the right lane at probably 28-30 MPH. I thought maybe there was an emergency but his lights were not on like the big yellow flashing light on that very tall sign next to the street.
I followed him for about three more miles as we just happened to be going the same direction. I kept waiting for him to pull somebody over for speeding back in that school zone since that had to be the reason he was going so fast through it. I then noticed he was looking down at his computer a lot. I guess that's why he didn't see that big yellow flashing light on that very tall sign next to the street.
To be fair, I've sped through school zones before on accident. Once when I was a teenager and new to the driving world, I got a ticket for going 29 MPH supposedly just minutes before the light stopped flashing. There were no children anywhere in sight and I'm pretty sure the light wasn't flashing. I got ticketed and had to write a three-page paper for the teen court judge to get out of it. He let me off easy!
So, I'm really in no position to pass judgement on the police officer who accidentally cruised through the school zone faster than he should have. I thought about flashing my lights and honking my horn behind him to see if he would pull over and I could write him a ticket from his book. Not wanting to take the risk of a ride downtown to jail with my two little kids in the car, I decided to let him off the hook.
It would be nice to see him spending more time in that school zone stopping the arrogant high school students from walking out into traffic. They ignore the lights at the intersection and roam out in front of moving cars. They ignore the pedestrian crosswalk and cross wherever they please. Almost daily I see a student inches away from being hit.
I know high school kids don't need a crossing guard, but maybe they need an Austin police officer stationed there to stop them from jaywalking and getting run over by a speeder, civilian or otherwise.
No matter what city you live in, please slow down in school zones.