Friday, April 1, 2011

The Perils of Driving in Tulsa

I almost hit a child yesterday. Now before anyone gets all upset about physical abuse let me say I don't mean it in that way. Allow me explain in greater detail. I had just dropped my son off at our babysitters house and directly across from them is a school. There is a small hill which comes up against the sidewalk and it was this time for parents to pick up their children so there were a number of cars sitting at the curb.. As I started driving I noticed a little further ahead a child running backwards down the hill.

As I continued he suddenly darted from between two parked cars and if either of us hadn't been paying more attention then he'd be in the hospital right now. As it was, I saw him and hit my brakes but even so if he hadn't have also seen me then I don't think my quick reaction would have been quick enough. Thankfully he stopped and as I started driving again I watched him run behind my truck across the street. Needless to say this was a bit of an eye opener for me as well as a heart accelerator. It didn't help my mood at all that as I turned the corner I encountered a small traffic jam because parents were double parking as they waited for their children and they didn't seem to care that they were blocking traffic at all.

The traffic around this school and another that is merely about six blocks away (explain that lack of planning and foresight city of Tulsa) that I drive past has been the source of several bad experiences this past week. It seems that locally people cannot grasp the concept that just because they are there to pick up their children it doesn't mean that they can violate any traffic law that they choose. They double park, they pull out of parking lots into traffic with little to no room, they stop and talk with pedestrians and they like to drive at less than half of the posted speed even after they get several blocks out of the school zone. Trying to motion to them or honking your horn does no good because they're far too busy on their cellphones to do more than flip you (or maybe just me) off.

I know, I know, I should find another route to traverse that would allow me to skip them but it's easier said than done in residential neighborhoods and school zones. I am looking though, it's just not worth the headache involved to get all worked up. This brings another thought to the forefront of my brain though. My son will start Pre-K in the fall and even though I will be dropping him off and presumably picking him up I'm starting to have this fear that no matter how much I talk to him and explain why it's so dangerous being around all of those vehicles and how he needs to be extra careful, I also know that kids will be kids. They run around without a thought or care in the world because they are only concentrating on having fun and no matter how much you teach, preach and try to inform them ,that all goes out of their mind once they start having fun.

I think the only way to deal with it is to try and educate them to live right the best you can and then put it out of your mind. There are so many bad things that can happen to a person in this world that you'd go crazy trying to think of ways to keep someone safe at all times. It's just not possible because everybody out there can use their free will do both positive and negative things and those actions impact other people. No matter how hard the government tries to regulate safety it's an impossible task. It's just an illusion. It can't be done. Perhaps it's time to start teaching people to be responsible for their own actions once again instead of avoiding the repercussions that come with it. Nah, it'll never work.

Published by Don Leach

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