A few years ago, my dad tried an experiment. Instead of going over the speed limit on his mostly-highway commute, he got in the right lane, set the cruise control to 55 and drove to work. After a week of doing this, he found that he was only getting to work about a minute and a half later and his gas mileage increased by some astronomical amount. It was a revolutionary driving moment for him.
Did I mention he’s a doctor and he was always driving to get to patients? If a doctor can drive the speed limit to get to work, there’s no reason on earth the rest of us should be speeding. That goes double in residential zones.
I live in a high traffic density region and my neighborhood is flanked by three main streets. At times, those streets get backed up and people start using my neighborhood as a cut through. Because they’re all in a big hurry, they drive like freaking maniacs. They don’t notice that most houses don’t have driveways, so the streets are lined with parked cars. They don’t think about how many kids and animals live in the neighborhood. They don’t note that we don’t have sidewalks everywhere, so people have to walk in the street. And they sure as shootin’ don’t pay attention to the speed limit signs that say 25 miles per hour is the top acceptable speed.
It scares the living daylights out of me.
Listen, fellow parents. Can we all make a pledge to one another not to be like the jerky commuters in my neighborhood? Seriously. Let’s all think about how angry we get when cars go speeding by on the streets where our kids wait for the school bus and our neighbors walk their dogs. Hold that feeling for a second and use it to galvanize yourself to stop speeding. Just stop. Drive the speed limit on every street you’re ever on, especially the one in residential areas.
Because what does speeding get you? Not much. If you’re like my dad, it saves you maybe 90 seconds of time. But it can increase the amount of gas you use, it increases the risk of injury in an accident and it makes it hard for you to stop quickly if you need to slam on the brakes when another car or a kid on a bicycle suddenly appears from behind a parked car.
So do me a favor when you finish reading this post. Go Google the local speed limit in residential zones and memorize it. Then stick to it. It will be safer for all of our kids.
Photo Credit: iStock
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