In honor of the last day before “winter break”


While we were at the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct this week meeting with Lt. Steve Paulsen, he showed us this photo and we asked for a copy to share with you. It’s from Arbor Heights, during one of the many school-zone safety patrols that SW Precinct officers routinely handle; the trunk-mounted display is another variant on those unmanned mobile signs you see from time to time (like the longrunning one on Fauntleroy by Lincoln Park). After “early dismissal” today, school is out for the next two weeks, so you won’t see a scene like this, but many school zones are in residential areas where you’re going to want to keep the pedal a little lighter on the metal anyway.

16 Replies to "In honor of the last day before "winter break""

  • Rick December 21, 2007 (9:33 am)

    I see a marked crosswalk at a corner street about 100 feet away from these kids. Maybe a bit more parent participation in education about safely crosing a street is in order. As sad as pedo/auto are, it can’t always be 100% drivers fault.

  • Jan December 21, 2007 (9:36 am)

    Rick…absolutely. My first thought was…where’s the parent? But…let’s assume that the road right in front of them has a crosswalk that we just can’t see in the picture. Be safe out there :)

  • WSB December 21, 2007 (9:50 am)

    Good point that the police stress as well – everyone is responsible for helping ensure safety – including parents, especially during school drop-off and pickup times, which can be chaotic at best.

  • westwood December 21, 2007 (9:53 am)

    Still, the point remains that drivers need to slow down in school areas and in many cases they don’t. The recently closed Fairmount Park elementary had cars whizzing by at 45 MPH. Each day I see folks drive by Lafayette at 30+ in the morning and afternoon. You all know where the schools are. The difference between the time you travel at 20 MPH and 40 MPH for a two block stretch is about 5-10 seconds at best. Are any of us really in that big of a hurry?

  • SA December 21, 2007 (9:58 am)

    Isn’t it much easier to judge traffic if you only have to account for it from two directions? If you cross at a corner you have traffic from four directions not to mention the drivers turning left who refuse to look ahead where they’re turning, the drivers who roll thru a red light with their “free” right turn and the numerous idiots who straddle the crosswalk when they do stop. I’m not trying to justify jaywalking. I’m just trying to point out that we’re instinctive animals and sometimes what we deem the safest thing to do is not what the law dictates.

  • que December 21, 2007 (11:14 am)

    I know these kids and they were doubtlessly NOT trying to cross the street, but looking at the speed on the readout and looking at the oncoming traffic to see how fast 11 mph looks like. They are both burgeoning scientists. I also KNOW that their mom was standing right outside of the shot of the camera, probably laughing at the irony that it looked in the picture like they were trying to cross on their own, which they never are. They have VERY attentive parents. Cut them a break.

  • WSB December 21, 2007 (11:30 am)

    Thanks, que!

  • Karen December 21, 2007 (12:26 pm)

    I’ll back up Que. I, too know these kids and there is no way that mom would let them cross there or be out by without her!

  • Aidan Hadley December 21, 2007 (1:04 pm)

    Rick and Jan: While I’m philosophically in agreement with you, if it were automatically 100% the driver’s fault whenever a pedestrian is struck I’d bet you’d see a dramatic reduction in car v. pedestrian accidents. The possibility of jail time and/or high damages would certainly motivate some of these selfish, speeding idiots to learn what the brake pedal in their car actually does when they press it.

  • que December 21, 2007 (1:17 pm)

    You are welcome WSB (and thanks for backing me up Karen) I love WSB and the point that we should all slow down is absolutely true. We should all be keeping an eye out for each other, and especially for the smallest among us.

  • Todd in Wastewood (S. Delridge) December 21, 2007 (1:50 pm)

    I really wish they would put one of these automated signs up on Roxbury, west of 20th or so. People and the 18 wheelers bombing down Roxbury sometimes at 50-60 mph! The posted limit going west is 30 mph. If I drive that, i will get pushed off the road. There is a flashing light indicating a school zone near Holy Family, but it doesnt matter to anyone.
    Tip for the SPD/King CO. Sheriff, if you want to catch speeders, come on down, we got a whole bunch.

  • Jan December 21, 2007 (4:11 pm)

    Aidan…it’s never 100% the driver’s fault…sometimes pedestrians do stupid things, or simply don’t think ahead..

    Que…thanks for clarifying that…..the picture fools you…:)

  • Barbara December 21, 2007 (4:41 pm)

    I hear a lot about putting up one of those reader boards that shows your speed, because they think that will slow people down, but I’m going to have to disagree, that will just show them how fast they are going. I also agree that it’s not 100% the driver’s fault.

  • Tom December 21, 2007 (8:22 pm)

    I don’t know those kids… but they’re dagnab cute!

  • Bonnie December 21, 2007 (8:49 pm)

    Call me a bad Mom but I always cross at that exact same spot with my kids. I park on 36th to pick my son up from school and cross right there on 104th. There is no crosswalk but walking down to the crosswalk would mean walking in the road since there are no sidewalks. I’d prefer to cross my kids there than walk down the street with no sidewalk. Usually there are so many cars parked on the north side of 104th that you can’t walk on that side.

  • The Mom December 22, 2007 (9:13 pm)

    Yes, I’m still laughing at the irony, que! You are completely right, que, WSB, Karen, and Jan– the picture fools you, and it seems to have done its job: alerting people as to the potential for disaster on the roads.
    Tom, they sure are dagnab cute, but I am biased.

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