I feel compelled to speak up for Larry Klassen’s attempt to bring to light the chronic speeding problem in school zones here in Sooke.
The speeds of individuals driving in Sooke can only be compared to those I have witnessed in Vancouver. Last week when I read G. Woods’ response to Klassen’s letter I was puzzled and perplexed at her comments. With that said, I hardly see the point of bringing to light little known sections under the highway traffic act so people can actually drive 50 or 60 km/hr in a school zone when there are no children on the highway. The bottom line is that when it is clearly posted by the school crossing guards at Saseenos that the limit is 40 km/hr, motorists should obey it. Who cares if it is unenforceable. It is a courtesy to pedestrians and children in general and was established to protect people, especially from maniac drivers here in Sooke. If I had it my way drivers would be required to drive even slower through that section of the highway all the time.
Mrs. Woods’ suggestion that it is ok to speed up if there are no children visible on the highway is outright ridiculous. I ask Mrs. Woods how long she thinks it would take her to come to a full stop traveling at 50 or 60 km/hr if a child, or pedestrian suddenly darted out in front of her vehicle? I think it’s safe to say she couldn’t stop fast enough.
As somebody who drives through that section at Saseenos School on a daily basis, I can tell you that I see most of the people paying little, or no attention at all to even the posted limit, let alone the 40 km/h one suggested by the Saseenos school crossing guard. I have also witnessed an ongoing and consistent disregard for even the posted limits elsewhere in Sooke.
In my own neighbourhood of Woodland Creek, I see it everyday, people driving way over the posted 30km/hr limit. I cannot count the confrontations I have gotten into with people not only from within this neighbourhood, but as well from other areas of Sooke using my street as an expressway to get their kids to school, or day care. I have been trying for the last three years to get people to understand the importance of slowing down after my own nine-year-old was almost run down three summers ago. Besides, I have seen, first hand, the immediate horror and aftermath of a child being run down because of the carelessness and down right stupidity of a motorist driving at excessive speeds. It sickens me to this day to even think about it, and I shudder every time I hear a siren on its way to an emergency in Sooke.
However, despite my attempts to appeal to the people who speed, who usually end up giving me the finger and driving on, or the Sooke RCMP, as well as my attempts to speak to representatives from the District of Sooke, who tell me my idea of putting in speed bumps is good, but fire trucks and other emergency vehicles worry about wrecking their transmissions if they go over one, absolutely nothing has been done to date.
Although I must thank whoever at the Sooke RCMP gave my name and phone number to the Sooke citizen’s advisory committee who then called me out of the blue and asked if I would like to volunteer monitoring traffic for the RCMP for statistical purposes. I do appreciate the invitation, but I fail to see how it will help curb speeding in Sooke school zones and everywhere in general.
Lastly, I applaud Larry Klassen for having the gumption to point out what he sees as a dangerous and unmonitored habit, which for those who do it, take little responsibility or care because they are selfish, self important and self indulgent to their own needs and way of looking at life.
And for Mrs. Woods’ I can only say that instead of informing people on how they can circumvent posted speed limits and rather than slow down, show a little care and caution when driving past a school and a much used cross walk.
Despite it not being a school day and a “summer” day as Mrs. Woods’ puts it, there are still activities that take place at any school during the summer. In fact, last summer I was driving home around dinner time and an ambulance was just removing a pedestrian who had been hit by a speeding driver who ran the person down as he got off a city bus and attempted to cross the highway at the cross walk.
People in this town need to slow down and be vigilant of our young kids because its only a matter of time before another family has to put another cross onto the side of the highway for their loved one.