Editorial: What if this actually happened?

On Wednesday morning, at approximately 7:32 a.m., a child was struck by a car while trying to cross the street in front of Ladonia Elementary on Highway 80 in Phenix City. Why the eight-year-old little girl was crossing the street alone is under investigation. The driver hit the child while traveling at 35 mph. The school zone limit posted is 25 mph on HWY 80, and it is 20 mph on Woodland Drive. The child was flown to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Atlanta where she remains in critical condition. The name of the driver has not yet been released. 

Did that get your attention? Don’t worry, no child was hurt in the writing of this editorial. But an outcry from parents, teachers, and others in our community, Ladonia in particular, prompted a response. It seems a lot of drivers are forgetting to slow down for school zones at Ladonia Elementary and other schools, despite the flashing lights and signs indicating their presence—or they are ignoring the speed limit. Also, there have been a lot of instances reported of drivers riding bumpers, honking, and screaming at those drivers who are actually following the posted school zone speed limit. 

It’s only a matter of time until our fictional story becomes a tragic reality unless all drivers pay attention and think of others. There isn’t a good reason to speed in a school zone. Slowing down will only cost you a few minutes. Not slowing down could cost you a lifetime behind bars and possibly cost someone else their life. Which would you prefer?

Alabama Speed Limits

70 MPH Interstate

65 MPH Roadways with four or more lanes

55 MPH Other roadways unless otherwise marked

45 MPH County roadways unless otherwise marked

35 MPH All non-paved county roads

25 MPH Residential areas

15 MPH School zones (if not posted)

By Toni Stauffer, Staff Writer