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Letter: Stopping for school buses should be optional

Editor: Re: Editorial, "Stopping for school buses is not optional" – well, it should be.


Re: Editorial, "Stopping for school buses is not optional" – well, it should be. 

With the regularity of a clock this thoughtless jabber with a religious like obsession returns year after year, dramatizing a minute gained versus a life lost. I mean, if you kill a child passing a school bus you must have been either drunk or gone 50 km/h. Sure, most of the time narrow roads prevent passing in the first place. But to shut down traffic in the opposite direction as well is, well, somewhat over the top.

Where I am coming from, if a child ever gets hurt, I would lay blame equally on the driver and the parents. The parents because they have miserably failed to teach their kids how to move around traffic safely. I still remember my mother taking me by the right hand and my brother by the left, explaining how to cross a busy road with trucks running in both directions hauling rubbles of a destroyed city after the war. First look left, then look right. If nothing is coming from the right, check the left again. Then run across the street as fast as you can.

Fast forward, I got my four-year-old grandson to the point where he says, "Opa we can go?" to cross a street. A weekend ago, we were crossing a parking lot heading for some ice cream when he said, “halt Opa there is a car coming”. It was a car backing out of a parking stall. I didn’t say, “that’s all right, we can go”. Instead, I said “good you told me, I didn’t see that” and took him by the hand until the car had left. I am sure he will keep me updated about every car he sees moving.

Isn’t it time parents start taking responsibility as well? Isn’t it time to also review drivers’ education? My instructor must have been an instructor in the Wehrmacht the way he brushed me down when I made a mistake. But he got his message across, how to pass a bus, school, transit and anything in between. If you see a soccer ball rolling across the street expect a child come running after it, and on. My driver’s licence cost me 120 hourly rates of a tool and die maker. You do the math. But at the end I knew how to drive. Quite frequently I wonder if the driving “instructors” themselves know how to drive.

CBC Radio ran a story a while back about a study done by Allianz Insurance, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. Their findings, the best way to prepare your child for life is not to shield it from and any and all hazards. Instead, it is to expose it to dangers in a controlled manner, being the best way for a child to identify dangers and protect itself.

Aren’t these restrictive regulations and ridiculous fines not the crutches of a failed traffic educational system in the first place, including both, drivers and the rest of the public?

Dieter Remppel,