Monday, May 2, 2011

Dash cam, Part 8: Unsafe at any speed around our schools

All those dangerous drivers you see on our freeways and local public streets - do you suppose for one minute that they magically transform into safe drivers once they get anywhere near a public school campus?

Ri-ight.  I mentioned in Dash cam Part 1 that most of my motivation for buying a car DVR in the first place was to raise awareness about child-endangering traffic violations that I witness around our schools.  And as predictably as the sun rising in the east (with or without sundogs), so it was that a near-miss was recently caught on video:
To protect privacies, information about the individuals, location, specific ISD, date/time of incident, and certain other circumstances will not be published.  
Suffice it to say that a student was walking near the front of a bus when a driver veered sharply around the left side of the bus, almost striking the student. 

I released the full video to the ISD in question, and the response was immediate and comprehensive.  Procedural controls are being developed to minimize the conspiracy of circumstances that led to the situation represented in the redacted screengrab above.  They're doing a wonderful job of responding to this with a rigor analogous to what would be applied if this had been a near-miss that occurred in an industrial setting. 

I don't envy ISDs in dealing with things like this.  Nobody will ever convince me that any of our local ISDs employ a single person who isn't absolutely passionate about protecting children from dangerous drivers.  But they are in the business of education, not traffic enforcement, and their personnel can't be everywhere at once.  There's only so much any of us can achieve when it comes to minimizing the impacts of unsafe driving, but if each of us does what we can do, there will be a cumulative positive effect, and progress will occur. 

The particular scenario represented in the example above is of personal significance to my family.  Many years ago, one of my relatives was killed in precisely this manner.  An aggressive motorist peeled out from behind a school bus, striking her directly in front of her devastated brother and all the other schoolchildren who were heading to class on that fateful morning.  She died of internal injuries from the blunt-force trauma.  This one is for you, Barbara.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi

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