Our main office here in Ladera Ranch is located in the same business park across the street from Ladera Ranch KinderCare. I spent a good portion of my morning outside, watching cars driving through the business park and was astounded by what I was seeing. Cars speeding through the business center, cars taking advantage of the good old “California Roll” – which I must admit, I have been guilty of, myself – people not looking at the road ahead, people texting or talking on their phones, etc. California driving laws state that a driver of a moving vehicle must not be on their phone or use any other handheld device while they are operating a vehicle. California law also states that the maximum speed limit in business districts as well as in school zones – when children are present – is 25mph. Though I did not have a speedometer ready at hand with me as I sat outside, I am fairly familiar with what 25mph looks like – and what perhaps a little over 25mph looks like as well.
I usually like to walk to the nearby Starbucks or the cute café near the office on my lunch break – and even for me, a thirty-one-year-old woman – it is not always safe when people are speeding through the business park. I can only imagine what would happen if one of the children happened to be walking by or playing in the area. Though there are high gates that surround the KinderCare Facility, I do know some children, no matter how well you watch them, are little escape artists and like to explore and play outdoors. I am by no means trying to discredit the capabilities of the teachers and the aids at the facility – things happen and sometimes little ones can be little ninja’s when they truly want to wander about, or if a ball rolls into the street and the child runs after it – but it always surprises me when I see people being a little less careful in an area where children are present.
I understand the feeling of being in a hurry. I, myself, commute to work and oftentimes find myself rushing, all in the hopes that I left the house on time and was able to beat traffic. Life gets hectic because everyone is busy and we all have at least five different things on our plates at any given moment. If people take time to pay attention, to slow down a little bit, not only in life, but while driving, especially in an area where there are young children, arriving to work a little bit late may be worth it. Because we can all say, “that will never happen.” But what about that one in a million chance that it may happen. I know I don’t want to take that risk with my life, and I especially don’t want to take that risk with a young child’s life.
Safety – children’s safety, especially – is just so important. They are our future. Our hopes and our dreams. It’s important to keep them safe – and if that means slowing down, following the rules of the road, and perhaps paying a little more attention to what is around us while we are driving; especially near a school or place of learning – it is well worth it.
Have a fun and safe week, everyone! And keep coming back as we continue our weekly series on Child Safety.