As part of my new exercise regime my kids (lost another 1.6kg this week!) I got up early this morning and went for a walk. We went around 7.30 / 8.00am just when everyone is hurrying to get to work and kids to school.
We have found a park up near where we live that I didn't even know was there so very excitedly for the last couple of days we have been going there for a play before we start on 'school' work.
As we walked back from the park we stopped very carefully at every drive way noticing that people simply were not looking. Four different drivers (two of which had their own kids in the car) found it necessary to slam on their breaks because at last moment saw us standing at the side of their drives. They smiled awkwardly before pulling out and driving a little more sedately off down the road, perhaps counting their blessings we had not crossed behind the car.
I have noticed this again and again. People are so busy getting on with their own lives they forget to stop and consider what's going on around them. A classic example today was a Mum screaming abuse at her child for forgetting their hat and the husband getting stressed out waiting for the kids to get in the car, another one forgetting their lunch and rushing back in for it. All the while we watched this from the peace of the park opposite. However I wanted to scream as everything suddenly went into slow motion as they finally decided to back down their drive and my eyes darted to a little boy riding his bike with a dog traveling along side him, maybe 10 at the most.
I couldn't move, my voice seemed to have disappeared as I tried to cry out to the child but somehow by some miracle the car came to a screeching stop and missed the boy by inches. The boy carried on as if oblivious to his near death experience and the people in the car just looked frustrated and tore off down the road learning nothing from what had just happened.
According to the latest statistics 5 children a year are killed on our roads in New Zealand, 5 Children.
For every 5 children that are killed another 12 children are admitted to hospital and 11% of those kids have injuries that will severely disable them for the rest of their lives.
People do go for a walk past your house, just because the last 10 times you have backed out there was no one there doesn't mean this time there won't be. Remember your own children playing around your house, it is so easy for a little to get out. Always make sure you know where they are before driving away.
Slow Down New Zealand and let's keep our children safe in driveways.