Monday, 21 November 2016

There is never a "good" time to die

but the loss of four young men in yet another road "accident" at this time of the year seems even more tragic than usual.
It didn't need to happen. Was speed an issue? Almost certainly. Were the last few conscious seconds of their lives terrifying? Almost certainly.
It is one hell of a waste. It has wrenched four families apart. They won't be celebrating Christmas or New Year - and every Christmas and New Year from now on will be a reminder of what might have been.
The caravan and cabin park where the kittens have been staying with their parents has a 5kmh speed limit - and yes, people observe it. If they don't they are liable to get kicked unceremoniously out of their site. Rightly so too because there are children all over the place. It's that sort of place.
But children do not have "road sense". They can be taught road rules. They may even seem to understand them but they still don't have "road sense". It takes years of being in among traffic to begin to understand traffic and how to interact with it.
As a kitten I rode my tricycle to school alone from the age of six. My school was about a mile away I suppose - at least that, perhaps a bit more. Up until then I was either taken to school on the cross  bar of my father's bike or I rode on the rear of the pram with my mother pushing. Other children would have walked the same distance. It was what everyone in the district did. Many people didn't even own a car. Traffic was light but there were still several big roads to cross. 
I rode on the footpath of course. I suppose there were people who knew me all along my route. I knew about "going straight to school" and "coming straight home". Being late was not an option. You put your paws on the pedals and kept going until you got there. I parked in among the bicycles - and one or two other tricycles. We didn't lock them up but nobody ever seemed to lose one.
Riding to school alone at that age would now have social services on the door step and accusations of serious neglect. They would no doubt be right because the traffic is heavier and there are less people out and about on foot and able to help if something goes wrong. 
And it means that children are not learning about traffic. Cocooned in a car they don't get the same sense of what traffic is about or what it is doing or how they need to interact with it.
There is the occasional "walk to school" day here. Most people ignore it. They just don't have time to  be bothered. It's time we should make because it might just reduce the number of senseless deaths caused by not understanding what traffic is, what speed does and more. 


virtualquilter said...

Unfortunately road sense is disappearing like common sense.

catdownunder said...

and lack of both is dangerous