Guest Opinions

Treasure Valley drivers need to slow down around school zones

I’m writing to discuss an important problem here in Boise, one I’m sure exists all over the state and country, one which I witness every single day driving my daughter to and from school: School zone driving.

In particular, I’m talking about a stretch of road on Latah between Emerald and Overland, where I pass through two separate zones daily. One has a traffic light outside the school, and even a crossing guard, so that one isn’t as bad, but the one farther up the road is out of control.

On an almost daily occurrence, at least one car is going at least 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit, if not more. It’s just puzzling how these drivers can’t see giant, flashing yellow lights with a big sign stating the 20 mph speed limit. Or maybe they do see it and just choose to put kids in harm’s way because they hit the snooze too many times and are late for their terrible job?

I actually happened to see a cop had pulled someone over right outside one of these zones recently, but whether it was related to their speeding I obviously couldn’t tell. Normally, there’s no enforcement whatsoever, and cars zip around with no thought or consequence to their unbelievable ignorance and endangerment of our youth.

I wrote an article here a couple years ago about how the drivers in Boise are way too slow and routinely drive well under the speed limit (a fact that has yet to change), and now I have to write in again about the same topic, only with the reverse being true in this case.

Apparently, the driver’s tests here need to be a little stricter, or what’s being taught in driver’s education class should have a bit more focus on actual driving, how to do it well and how to look for signs, such as giant flashing yellow lights, so you know when you’re supposed to slow down.

There’s a real simple solution to this problem, folks — pay attention to what’s going on around you as you drive through this or any other city, and realize that sometimes you have to adjust what you’re doing while driving in order to ensure safety for you and your passengers, as well as those in other vehicles and walking around town.

My daughter isn’t quite to the age yet when I need to worry about her walking around town, but she will be in a few years, and there are tons of other people’s daughters and sons who walk around these school zones every day. For their safety, and for the safety of our kids in the future as well, slow down.

Michael Berndt is an eight-year resident of Boise and runs both a graphic design business and one that reviews guitar pedal effects equipment.