With schools opening back up for business between August 27th and September 2nd, I will see a fair share of school zone violations in my defensive driving class very soon. Remember to pay attention and look out for kids in school zones. I will see violations such as speeding through an active school zone, not buckling up little ones and, of course, talking on a cell phone. This time of year, I may even see what I like to call the double-whammy. Speeding and talking on a cell phone, simultaneously. I think that’s what they call multi-tasking. But, be forewarned, both carry high penalties. I have a friend who got cited for the double-whammy, while he was talking to me (of all people) on the cell phone. He said “Hey, I’m being pulled over because I’m speeding through a school zone.” I told him “You should hang up the phone, Goober, or they’ll give you a ticket for that, too.” And this part made me laugh, “Should I tell him I’m on the phone with you?” “Right, like I’m a world famous defensive driving instructor…like he’d know me.” “Don’t give some cop my name…I don’t need him writing my name down in his book.” I see a lot of teachers getting pulled over in their own school zones. And I’m sure the students and faculty tease them until the day they retire. When I was a kid, our school mascot was actually hit by a car in front of our school. Luckily, he escaped with minor injuries. The name of my school was Lincoln High. Our mascot would wear a stovepipe hat and would sit for hours, slumped over in a theater chair. He was a great little method actor.
They’re also really cracking down on children not being properly restrained in the car. Parents may be fully aware of these laws and may comply. But what about the car pool driver? The ones that don’t know the laws because they have no children of their own. You know…the childless, happy people. They need to be educated as well. Laws vary by state, but in Texas a child must remain in a booster seat until their 8th birthday or until they reach 4′-9″, whichever comes first. And, everyone in the car must be wearing a seat belt. The driver would get the ticket for any child under 17 who is not buckled up in their car. And the fine is higher for each additional unbuckled passenger. There goes your Disney vacation money. So, if your kids resist the buckle-up, just use duct tape. It comes in all kinds of bright, kid-friendly colors now. When I was a kid, safety was an option. People didn’t have to wear seat belts until 1986. We had seat belts in the car, but they were conveniently tucked down in the seat. My mom’s arm was our seat belt. And now it’s just a habit with her…she’ll knock the wind out of you. My dad used to call my mom “The Seat Belt.” Now he calls her “The Air Bag.”  Nice, eh?

Until next week…keep those little ones safe…pay attention and look out for kids, because they’re not looking out for you.

Daun Thompson

Look Out For Kids – Comedy Defensive Driving