I’M better-placed than most to speak about traffic “problems” around schools in Haddington and elsewhere: my son was run over as he went to school a couple of years ago. Yet I still think this Draconian response isn’t the answer.
My boy was fine; he ran into the slow-moving car rather than the car running into him. The driver was exercising the utmost caution coming round a corner.
Other drivers do likewise around schools. The proximity of children encourages people to drive more responsibly.
I would ask those who have been calling for this ban to produce the hard evidence and statistics of bad and/or dangerous driving around the schools. There isn’t any: it’s all anecdotal and questionable, and this action is disproportionate.
Several questions also occur:
1) If you ban traffic from streets round the schools, where do the cars go? It just pushes traffic elsewhere, into streets that children still use to get to and from school, but ironically where drivers may exercise less caution because they’re not near a school. The perceived problem isn’t solved and possibly even exacerbated.
2) Is it legal for an over-zealous council and police to suddenly cordon off sections of a public highway to drivers going about their lawful business because of the lobbying of a small but vocal minority? We don’t live in a police state full of roadblocks and checkpoints (last time I looked), although Haddington and other towns across Scotland may come to resemble one.
3) Will children be lulled into a false sense of security by the lack of cars around their schools and forget basic road safety when crossing other, far more dangerous roads?
Surely education of drivers, and treating them like responsible adults, not naughty children, is better than a ban.
And before you ask, no, I don’t drive my kids to school.