According to Mary Caverly (“Children’s safety must come first,”
Community Forum, March 14), the traffic roundabouts are supposed to slow
down traffic to reduce the risk of injury or death to children who “play
on and near the streets.” Why is that?
When I was growing up, my friends and I were not allowed to play in
the streets, and we were taught to stop and look both ways before
crossing the street to avoid that risk. Our parents had the good sense to
know that playing children and moving automobiles do not belong in the
same place, and that the streets belong to the automobiles. The speed of
an automobile is largely irrelevant. A child darting into the street can
be killed just as dead by an automobile traveling within the speed limit.
But good sense has been lost. It is apparently OK now with parents for
kids to play on and near the streets, and the risk is blamed on others.
It always seems to be someone else’s fault these days.
Police should continue to enforce the traffic laws. In addition,
whenever police find children playing in the streets, the parents who
allow it should be identified, arrested and prosecuted for child
endangerment. A few examples would make parents shape up and get the kids
off the streets. This would solve the problem real fast and more
effectively than installing traffic-calming measures to reduce -- but not
avoid -- a risk caused by irresponsible parents.
Then again, maybe child safety is a ruse, the real objective being to
divert traffic elsewhere to achieve a quieter, more exclusive
neighborhood with higher property values. Instead of paying more for
property in a private, gated community, pay less for property on a public
street, and play the child safety card to get the City Council to calm or
divert traffic. A neat trick, if the City Council is that gullible.
DONALD C. NANNEY