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Traffic Talk: School's open, so drivers should slow down for safety's sake

Don Gammill: While driving, watch out for children as new school year begins.
by Don Gammill Published: August 19, 2013

He would call me each year as classes resumed, reminding me it was time to put out the message.

“They (drivers) need to pay attention,” he would say. “People hurry through (school crossings), don't pay attention. ... I just hope and pray somebody don't get hurt.”

And when I told him I agreed, he would note our “partnership for the kiddies” and say “we” needed to “remind the big people about the little people.”

He told me many stories about experiences working as a crossing guard, such as instances when drivers did not pay attention, nearly hitting a child, or even him, in front of a school.

He said he scolded many a driver who sped through a school zone, or at the very least shook his finger at them.

“Some of 'em shook a finger at me,” he once said. “But it wasn't a good finger.”

It didn't bother him, he said.

“They knew I was right.”

John died several years ago, I learned. But his message is still being delivered. It was a promise I made to him, and I try to keep my promises.

By the way ...

There's another part of that promise. I say “thanks” to those who through the years have served as crossing guards, watching out for our children.

They deserve our gratitude.

Enjoy your week and drive safely.

by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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