Letter to the Editor: Keep children safe

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Ted Dyrda, Wichita Falls

Due to the continued practice of having to turn your clocks forward in Spring for no good reason, as we are having to do this weekend, please be aware that this means on Monday, all our children will be going to school in the DARK!

Please be mindful of this and be extra cautious around school busses and school crossing zones!!

The views expressed above are not necessarily that of the Times Record News. The contents have not been modified except for grammar and punctuation.

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Comments » 7

JoeFriday writes:

In response to this letter, I would like to breifly share a story with you all.

More than 25 years ago in the Dallas suburb I grew up in, I went to elementary school with a boy named Pato Thao. He was a grade or 2 ahead of me and lived on the same block I did. We were not close friends, but we knew each other and occasionally played with other neighborhood kids together.
While walking home one day, Pato was stuck and killed by a car speeding through the school zone. I witnessed the event, as well as the spectacular, but unsuccessful, lifesaving efforts by the fire department. This would be the day I decided to dedicate my life to saving others, or at least give it my best shot. So without anyone having to call 911 first to summon me, lets see if I can save one via the keyboard.

The excuse for speeding from the driver was "I didn't know it was a school zone, there were no flashing lights." Within 2 days there were flashing lights all around Fairmeadows Elementary, as well as daily police patrols and "radar runners."

I am reminded of Pato and relive what I witnessed that day every time I drive down Lansing Blvd. near Notre Dame Catholic School. No flashing lights, poorly placed 20 mph speed zone signs that are often shadowed by trees, and cars that continuously ignore, or simply do not realize, that there is a school there.

I understand Notre Dame is a privite school and the traffic is not as heavy during school hours as it is near the public schools and even larger private schools. However, Lansing is a busy throughfare that sees excessive traffic everyday, espicially in the mornings and after 3 pm, and the kids attending private school deserve the same protection as those attending public schools.

Is it going to take another Pato Thao for those responsible, the city, the school, or whoever, to finally make it safer for the kids going to and from school at Notre Dame? For the life of me I can't understand why nobody has addressed this situation before now. I guess people really beleive we live in a "it's not going to happen to me" soceity.

I meet those people every day, after it happened to them.

Drive safe, and please, be mindful of ALL school zones.

wofum1947 writes:

JoeFriday: May I add a BIG Amen to your comment? It is almost an impossibility to drive in any of the residential neighborhoods and many other areas of the city during going to school or going home from school times without seeing school students walking. Remember that the high schools, junior high schools and elementary schools start and release at different times.

Let's face it, they are after all children and don't always think as we do or as we wish they would. Even if the posted speed limit is 30 outside a "school zone" or even 20 in one and even if it is light and clear, during those times a little thought and a few miles per hour slower is never too much caution to take.

Slow down and protect our most precious and important future natural resource - our children.

sunny writes:

Stone Lake is where Christ Academy is located. I travel that road almost daily at different times. There is no flashing lights, just a street sign designating a school zone. I wish they would put flashing lights as sometimes I will forget what time it is and if there is no activity at the schools, it is hard to remember the times I should be going 20 mph. instead of the 35 mph. And since there is no flashing lights, I have just about been run over by cars passing me when I am going the 20mph. If the city wants to make a lot of money in tickets, send a cop out to Stone Lake during school hours.

jetjocky writes:

Christ Academy is also a bit unique in that you don't see many kids walking to/from school. Mostly you see parents dropping off and picking up their kids.

Some of the biggest offenders of cell phone use in a school zone are the parents at Christ Academy. It seems many just cannot put that phone down while driving through school property with their kids.

We need lights and more police presence.

JimD writes:

My observation around the school zones is like a race track - unless there is police presence.

I don't know what the rush is around here but - It appears everyone is driving like they are going to a fire.

It could be the results of the raising of the speed limits in residential area last year or so.

Whatever the case it need to be reevaluated and some thought need to be given to the pedestrians and bicyclist.

IMO

JimD

WFFL writes:

in response to Texasczech63:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree. A cheap and easy solution to a real problem. I wish more issues were softballs like these.

JoeFriday writes:

For the sake of the kids, I really hope those who have the power to make a difference are reading these threads and taking this into consideration. I'm not laying blame anywhere, just think we need to be more pro-active in protecting kids every chance we get. Maybe we will see some changes before the lawyers and morticians have to deal with it.

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