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For Sake Of The Kids, ‘Drive Friendly’ Letter Of The Week: From Sept. 17

I am a rookie adult school crossing guard supervisor and am amazed at the number of speeding and inattentive motorists I’ve encountered my first week on the job.

Already, at my school, we’ve issued two serious warnings. Others certainly could have been written. Is it worth the seconds saved speeding through a school crossing when the risk is maiming or killing a child?

Accelerated growth has brought big-city problems to Spokane. Not too long ago, we were shocked and appalled by our city’s first drive-by shooting. Unfathomable. Our first school crossing fatality will be no less unfathomable. Although the intent to harm is not the same, lack of concern for others will have the same result: tragedy for all.

Please, at the very least, reduce speeds to the posted 20 mph in school zones and be attentive to the signals of the crossing guards. We’re not professionals but we try our best to ensure all of Spokane’s children arrive at and leave school safely.

And please, be more attentive driving wherever children are present. Their safety is our most important collective responsibility.

Courtesy and respect are really the keys to safe driving. Some years ago, when visiting Texas, I was impressed with the most eloquent of highway message signs that entreated motorists to “drive friendly.” A revolutionary thought! What does it mean to drive friendly? It means that while you’re behind the wheel, you treat every individual you encounter - child or adult, pedestrian or motorist - with the same courtesy and respect you treat close personal friends.

Tom Bellinger