The city has recently gotten much tougher on speeders in school zones. That’s good. I’m all for that. While they’re at it, how about cracking down on jaywalking, bad parking and littering?
They’ve also started issuing tickets for people talking on their cellphones, texting, putting on mascara and eating breakfast tacos while children (and police) are present during school hours. This has also been extended to smartphone transgressions like paying bills, trading stocks, updating Facebook accounts and web surfing while driving.
However, the whole thing can be quite complicated for us drivers trying to figure out how not to get caught doing something they say we’re not supposed to be doing.
Take, for instance, the sign stating that the speed limit becomes magically reduced to 20 mph in a school zone “when children are present.” Now what’s that exactly supposed to mean? What do they define as children being present? (If you look at some class attendance lists, they’re more absent than present.)
Obviously this applies to the times before and after school when students are busy trying get to and from class. That’s an easy one to figure out. Hey, I made it through the fifth grade three times, so I think I know what I’m talking about.
So what about during the school day when they’re supposed to be inside with their nose in a book? They’re certainly present because school is in session. They’re just not outside (or not supposed to be outside anyway.)
What if they suddenly leave for a field trip when you come barreling through the school zone at the posted speed limit trying to get to your all-important acupuncture diet class?
What if there’s an after-school event such as a football game, cheerleading tryouts, chess match or a fight between the fifth-grade bully and the sixth-grade bully? Children are certainly present, but how are we supposed to know what’s on the calendar?
It’s probably better to avoid school zones during class hours if you can find another way around town. Or just adopt the mindset you had when you were a teenager and just avoid school altogether.
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Ray Presswood. He correctly guessed that “1 = H. on the A.” was “1 = Hands on the Arm.” The word “hand” was listed in last week’s column.
Here is next week’s puzzle: “64 = S. on the C.B.” As usual, at least one of the words is included somewhere in the column. If you think you know the answer, submit your answer at AdVantageNews.com, under the Contests tab, click “Off the Top of My Head Answer” or call the AdVantage News answer line at (888) 532-4441 before noon on Tuesday.
Winners may choose a free lube and oil change from Drake Tire, a $26 value, or a $20 gift certificate to Tony’s Restaurant in downtown Alton, Gentelin’s or Jimmy the Greek’s on Broadway in Alton.
Winners will be notified by telephone on Tuesday and must pick up their prize at AdVantage News before 4 p.m.
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