Friday, May 27, 2016

Slow the Eff Down!!!

If you know me, you have probably heard about our neighbor who drives way too fast down our road. We live at the end of a cul de sac and the street isn’t very long with only 3 houses on each side before the bulb of the cul de sac starts. So there is really no reason to go fast because, at most, you are only going to save 15 seconds and that is if you have to completely stop for someone crossing the street or if a kid runs out in the road. Everyone but one house on our street has kids and there are 17 of them ages five and under. The kids enjoy playing outside together which usually involves driving their power wheels (there are 4 of those) and riding their bikes.
Photograph from Morgan Grosz via Facebook
So this neighbor comes flying around the corner and blasts right through the kids every single time she comes down the street. The speed limit on a residential thru street is 25 miles per hour and she is most definitely going over that. How do I know for sure? Because the other day when no one was outside playing I decided I’d go 25 up the street to make sure we weren’t all just being overly sensitive. She is probably going 30 miles an hour, maybe even faster.
A couple neighbors have yelled at her to slow down when she goes by but it has never made a bit of difference. There was even an instance where she came within a couple feet of a 4 year old little girl who was going down a driveway into the street. We yelled to the little girl and scared her which got her to stop but the neighbor just kept on driving and pulled right into her garage like nothing happened. It wasn’t my kid so I didn’t feel like I had the right to go rip her a new one like I wanted to so I just stayed put and kept my mouth shut.
Then, the other day she came flying through again and actually weaved around the 3 year olds riding their bikes, mine included. The day had come and I was in the right frame of mind to calmly and nicely ask her to slow down.
Here is our EXACT conversation:
Me:  “Hey, how’s it going?”
Her:  Looks blankly at me.
Me:  “So I know you’re paying attention but it makes us all really nervous when you come in here so fast while the kids are out. Could you just slow down a little bit?”
Her:  Scoffs, throws her keys in her purse, says “Well, we’re always in a hurry. Obviously I pay attention.” Walks away and starts closing her garage door.
Me:  Completely stunned by her response I have no idea what to say so I blurted “Well, we just want our kids to live, thanks.” And away I walk.
They’re always in a hurry? SERIOUSLY? That’s your reason for going OVER the speed limit and endangering all of our small children? Other neighbors were out and saw and heard it all go down and pretty much all of them couldn’t believe that that was how she responded.
Now, I understand it’s a street meant for cars, not for people but it is a cul de sac which she used to let her kids play in when there were a little younger and wanted to be out there. We all pay attention and never leave any kids unattended and we’re all doing our best to teach the kids to watch out for cars. However, they’re all so young that it is impossible for them to always be vigilant while giddily frolicking like children do, without a care in the world.
Apparently she told one neighbor that she was upset by me talking to her. SHE was upset? By me very nicely telling her we were concerned for our children’s safety? I’m not sure how that works. At this point I’m at a loss for what to do next, if anything. It isn’t like I’m going to call the cops because I don’t want to escalate things (plus they would probably just tell me to keep my kids out of the road). But even if we keep the kids from ever riding their bikes or power wheels in the road, what if a ball rolls into the road? If that happens, one of the kids is more than likely to run out after it and if they run out in front of her there is no question that she will hit them. Not on purpose obviously, but she is going too fast to stop quickly enough. Period. There’s no arguing about it. It’s the laws of science. You drive a certain speed and have a certain amount of momentum built up that the weight of your car can’t be stopped on a dime. Even if you’re “paying attention”. Even if you think all of the kids are on one side of the street and you’re safe, there are so many that it is highly likely another could come running across the street to join their friends. Now I know that sometimes there’s just a freak accident that wasn’t preventable on the driver’s part. But if you’re going that fast there would be no way to know if it had been preventable and to give you the benefit of the doubt.
You really think you’re saving time? Those 15 seconds are nothing compared to the time you will lose having to deal with the fallout of running over a child. All any of us want is to keep our children safe, and if I was doing something that was endangering someone else’s children and they asked me to stop, I would. Period. End of discussion. If I was upset because I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong I would respect them as a parent trying to keep their kids safe and just do it, and complain to my husband about it later (which I never do of course). But I guess we can’t all be as perfect as me now, can we?

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