Thursday, June 1, 2017

Well We Got No Class

It's June, and in Georgia the school buses sit idle until August. The amber lights on the school zone signs no longer flash twice a weekday but you can bet some idiot will slow down -- probably the same idiot that slowed down for them during the school year at 10:30 at night, or on Sunday.

That idiot is of course different from the far more common ones who rocket through the school zones at full speed even when the lights are flashing.

They wouldn't get away with that in Tennessee, where the speed limits in school zones, even where the normal limit is 45 or higher, drops to 15 when the kids are arriving or leaving. And anyone there who tries to observe that lowered limit when it's not in effect would be a smear on the pavement in short order.

When I'm driving around in the afternoon during the school year I'm constantly comparing my intended route to a mental map of where the schools are. Elementary schools let out earlier, their school zone speed limit hours mostly ending by 3:00. The road past the middle school nearest the home acres slows from 45 to 35 between 3:00 and 4:00. There are only three high schools in the county and none of them are on a route I ever really need to drive; there are ample alternate routes -- but their zone hours can extend to 4:45.

 I don't always get to avoid an active school zone; our vet is within the zone for an elementary school, and often by the time an appointment is set to check Lucy's arthritis or bring a cat in for a check-up, the options are limited. Nor do I necessarily go out of my way to avoid one if doing so would add miles and extra minutes to my journey that I could put to better use otherwise. But knowing I'm going to pass through one and having some idea of its effective period are a fact of life in this county.

It would be nice, though, if fewer of the schools here had been built along main roads

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