Don't risk our kids' lives with your driving

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Can we talk about our student's safety getting to school each morning? We moved to Oak Park because we loved the community and so our kids could walk or bike to school each day. We found a house we loved right by OPRF High School, and the school has always been a good neighbor to us. The traffic in the morning is also part of the choice to live so close to the school; we understand and accept that. 

The problem is this: The reckless driving of parents who are in a hurry to drop off their children is out of hand. The intersection of Ontario and North Elmwood is clogged for about 15 minutes every morning, that's a given. But this is not an excuse to honk your horn and make dangerous turns and impatient choices in order to get your child one block closer to school. 

My fifth-grader was almost hit twice this month as I watched him try to cross there. He must go that way to get to the crossing guard at Ridgeland who helps him get to Beye. And there too! Again this morning a near miss on Ridgeland. With the crossing guard standing in the middle of the street, stopping traffic, a car ignored her sign and crossed right as she stood motioning my son to cross. She yelled at the car, I yelled for my son to stop and together we helped avoid a serious accident. This is the second time at this location this has happened this year. 

Here's the thing: The kids aren't always looking or making good choices, but I believe it is our job as parents and drivers to be the overly cautious ones. When it comes to a kid and a car, no matter who is at fault, the kid will always lose and pay the painful price. 

We know there will be heavy traffic every day. Leave earlier or accept being late. I just ask that you don't drive in a way that risks our children's lives. Being late is always the better alternative.

Lisa Mullen 

Oak Park 

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