We've all done it - you're running late, so you're driving on auto-pilot, texting and realize long after you're through the intersection - there were blinking yellow lights and a child was standing there.
Luckily, that 10-year-old little boy didn't misjudge traffic and try ot make a run for it because you were driving an auto-pilot and never would have seen him. And with school starting in just more than two weeks, the close-calls will only become more frequent.
Will it take the death of a child you know to change your awareness?
So, instead of sitting on the sidelines, writing about the close-calls, sadly, waiting to write about a child who has been hit by a car, I'm doing something.
I'm partnering with Fox Point and Bayside parents to help kids cross safely. Regent Road and Pelham Parkway cross Brown Deer Road, and at those intersections, it's simply a deathtrap waiting to happen. Kids, cyclists, walkers and the elderly have no safe passage across Brown Deer Road as so many drivers obliviously blow through the intersections.
The bottom line is we can't install traffic lights or stop signs. A footbridge is very expensive and the crafty, kid-designed signs help, but seem to have reached the children more than the parents.
So what can we do?
We can take action. Thursday morning I had the pleasure of meeting with three parents and two village officials who feel as strongly as I do about making a change. Currently, we're designing a long-term solution that will, hopefully, bring on paid crossing guards. But as this school year quickly approaches, we need your help now.
We need volunteers to help with morning and afternoon crossing guard shifts. There's a crossing guard season, which means we only try to get volunteers to help during the times when most kids are walking and biking to school - which last year was through Nov. 1. There are no crossing guards on weekends and none when school is out.
We will hold our next meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. If you can donate even one shift, or are interested in more information, check out our Facebook page, or reach out via email, or give me a call at 414-412-5561.