PSA: That Time I Almost Hit a Middle-Schooler With My Car

PSA Time I Almost Hit A Middle School Kid Crossing the Street

Would you turn right on this red? What if a child were waiting to cross the street? What if you were running late…??

Stunned.  That’s how I still feel.  Last week when driving my middle school aged daughter to school… I almost hit one of her classmates who was crossing the street.  And  I’ve been stewing over the frightening “rule loophole” this fell into, ever since.

Aside from almost hurting a child with my car, the other reason it was so scary was that neither of us technically did anything wrong.

I was at the stoplight, needing to turn right.  She was waiting at the same stoplight, waiting for the pedestrian light to turn green so she could cross.  I’m typically a super cautious driver, but my daughter was almost late for school.

The light was red.  I decide to go ahead and turn right.  A perfectly legal move, right?

Half way through my turn, the light turns green.

The pedestrian sign turns green.

And that little girl… only a few feet away from my car, but completely fixated on that pedestrian signal… steps right off the curb into my pathway.  I *almost* hit her.  It was horrifying, and so incredibly scary.

Technically, she didn’t do anything wrong.

Technically, I didn’t do anything wrong.

How terrifying is that??

Stopped by the Po-Po

Within this split second moment, she was able to stop her body momentum, and my car passed her as it completed the turn.  My daughter and I just gasp and stare at each other in frightened silence.

“I almost hit your friend Shiloh [name changed].”  I say to her.

“I know you did.  That was so freaky!” she replies.

My mind is reeling, still trying to process what just happened.  I drop her off, and she heads in to school.  And right about then I see a motorcycle cop swing a U-Turn and tuck himself in behind my car.

That’s it, I’m going to jail.

Take me away, I deserve it.  I felt horrible.

Nicest Cop I’ve Ever Met

“So, someone just reported that you almost hit a child with your car.”  he says calmly, after approaching my window.

“I DID! IT WAS HORRIFYING!!  DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED?!” I gasp.  I’m not experienced enough with legal trouble for it to occur to me I should perhaps proceed with caution on gushing admissions of guilt.

“No, I didn’t see it happen.  Someone stopped me and told me about it.”

I feel even more sickened, at how the whole thing likely appeared.  And having a fellow middle school parent ratting me out.  Which I totally deserved.  Because if someone almost hits a kid with their car… they need to have a little chit-chat with the police.

Heck, this is Colorado.  At a minimum, he needed to confirm whether I was stoned.

I proceed to tell him the unfortunate chain of events, as I frantically search through my work backpack for my driver’s license.

He waves his hand indicating I don’t need to locate my license, and finally says, “You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not giving you a ticket.  With a crowded, school zone situation like this maybe just make sure all pedestrians are cleared first before making any turns.”

Of course.  Of course I will… for the rest of my life.  Scary lesson learned.

I can’t tell you how much gratitude I continue to feel, for this officer’s demeanor and the kindness he displayed.  I love that he was right there by the school, ready to help out when needed during this chaotic school drop-off time of day.

Life Lesson for Us Both

I didn’t get a chance to talk to this little girl, and I’m not sure that she would have wanted to visit after such a life threatening situation.  But I’ll bet she told her parents what happened that night.  And I’ll bet she looks for cars before crossing the street now, even when the pedestrian signal turns green.

So I guess that’s the takeaway.  There was room for improvement in both of our actions.

I shouldn’t have taken that turn.  I should have played it safe and slow, just waiting for the completely free and clear, no pedestrians trying to cross, green light.  I feel really, really bad. But I’m so incredibly relieved that she wasn’t hurt.

All’s well that ends well!  Please think of this story the next time you drive your kids to school.  🙂

*o*     *o*     *o*

 

 

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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves enjoying the outdoors, staying active, travel, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World...

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