Friday, November 11, 2011


Today I want to talk about 'STOP' signs? Why are they there?

Believe it or not they weren't just put there to slow down your commute to wherever you're going. They are strategically placed at intersections so that 'everyone' can be safer. You'll notice them (or at least you should) at the end of your street, in parking lots, etc. They're meant to slow down big, heavy vehicles and hopefully eliminate people from slamming into each other. Think about it ... you can't have two SUVs coming towards each other at 50 mph and not expect someone to get hurt if they both get to the intersection at the same time, right? This scenario isn't just a story problem for a junior high math class. It's life. It makes sense that we should SLOW down and start watching out for each other. Give the right-away to the guy who gets there first. Try it and maybe someone will return the favor to you some day.

Stop signs are crucially important in high school parking lots and on college campuses. Some days I think I'm literally taking my life into my own hands when I pick my daughter up from a school event. Seriously, nothing gets the old ticker racing fast like sitting in the high school parking lot when the last bells rings.

Last night my husband and I picked our daughter up from a music rehearsal at a nearby university. We got there a few minutes early (nearly 9:00 p.m.). It was dark out and cold so we decided to just wait in the van for a few minutes. After all, it was toasty inside and Christmas music was playing on the radio. Where am I going with this? I'll tell you. This particular parking lot is very well lit and adorned with numerous clearly marked STOP signs. In a matter of 10 minutes I observed more than a dozen vehicles drive right past the stop signs. They didn't even slow down or tap their brakes, they just went right on past them as if they weren't even there.

So why is that some people look at stop signs and think they don't have to stop? Why do people see speed limit signs and think they're nothing more than a suggestion? Why do people see 'right lane closed ahead' signs and think they're meant for everyone else but them?

I don't mean to go off on such a rant ... well o.k. ... maybe I do. But accidents are never planned. We all need to slow down and pay attention. The holidays are approaching quickly which generally means more traffic. Perhaps we should start practicing from now to get from point A to point B safely, without hurting ourselves or anyone else. That, my friends, could be one of the greatest Christmas presents you could give.

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