We are always reminded at this time of year that a lot more people than one might think suffer from poor short-term memory.
Sure, we are all stymied from time to time by questions about names from the distant past or dates of historical events, and who can remember all the state capitals?
But the particular memory lapse that confounds us has nothing to do with such difficult topics, and it really can’t be blamed on the passage of many years.
In fact, it should be a little easier to remember this important topic than it once was, thanks to the shorter summer vacations adopted by most public schools in recent times.
Yes, it’s only been a few short weeks since youngsters were in class and school zones were in effect, so one might expect that motorists could recall exactly where they should slow down and pay close attention.
But schools will soon be up and running once again, and we fully expect to see police officers busily pulling over motorists who fail to heed posted speed limits and drive blindly past flashing lights.
Considering how expensive those tickets can be, one might think that drivers would be more alert.
There may be a new school somewhere in Denton County that’s about to open for business, but as far as we know, most of the schools that were here in the spring will be in the same locations for the fall semester. Thus, all those school zones should be right where they were before.
There’s no need to check your calendar because August is on the wane and school bells will soon be ringing. In fact, class is already back in session, at least for one group of students. Denton Calvary Academy resumed classes on Monday.
Up next are students attending Immaculate Conception Catholic School, which opens Thursday.
On Monday, Aug. 26, many area campuses begin classes in Denton, Liberty Christian in Argyle, Lewisville, Argyle school district, Aubrey, Little Elm, Krum, Ponder and Lake Dallas.
On Tuesday, Aug. 27, the Northwest school district opens as does the Texas Education Center and Winfree Academy campuses.
So, there you have it. It’s time to watch your speed, put your cellphone away and keep your eyes wide open and watch for children, crossing guards and school buses.
The only predictable thing about youngsters is that they are completely unpredictable, so just because you see a boy or girl safely out of the street and on the sidewalk doesn’t mean that they’re going to stay there. They might just as easily dart out in front of you.
It’s up to you to watch for them, not the other way around. So we encourage you to start paying close attention. The flashing lights may not yet be activated in the school zones along your daily route, but they soon will be.
And don’t forget about those big yellow school buses we mentioned. It’s been a few weeks since you had to deal with them, so we’ll remind you that a bus with flashing lights and an extended stop sign means just that — stop. The bus is pausing in its route to let students climb aboard or disembark, so drivers have to wait until the bus is moving again and the lights are no longer flashing.
Special speed limits and other rules that go into effect at this time of year are designed to protect our young people and those who are charged with getting them to and from class every day, so their needs take precedence over yours — no matter how late you may be.
We encourage you to plan now to leave a little earlier every morning while school is in session. That way, you can drive slower and more safely, and everyone will get where they need to go.