Beware drive-by driving

Parksville Qualicum Beach will renew its love affair with the automobile this weekend, in a Father’s Day Show ’N Shine that’s expected to bring upwards of 30,000 people to the streets of downtown Qualicum Beach.

Perhaps it’s a good thing the Seaside Cruizers elected not to hold the event in a school zone.

A collision at the entrance to Arrowview Elementary School last week left a parent shaken up and her car “destroyed.” The incident prompted a letter to The NEWS from one classroom renewing a call for drivers to observe posted speed limits — and their surroundings — when driving in or near school zones.

We couldn’t agree more, and the arrival of the region’s biggest car show is a prime opportunity to drive home the point.

Sunday’s show ’n shine is, in reality, the culmination of a three-day love-in of classic and hot rod car culture. It is just one in a season of such shows in the area, where automobile infatuation runs deep. But can we not spare a simple embrace for driving law as well?

The recent crash at Arrowview was an extreme example, but the behaviour of local motorists on certain stretches of local road — particularly in school zones — has been a point of contention for both Oceanside RCMP and for the Oceanside Community Safety Volunteers.

You know the latter group. They’re the ones standing alongside the road in high-visibility vests and pointing a radar gun, under the sign flashing “68” as you motor past them while texting in a 50-km speed zone.

These volunteers assist the RCMP, but they have no enforcement role and do not issue tickets. The police, of course, can and will. Earlier this year, Oceanside RCMP was happy to share the results of an afternoon speed check outside Oceanside Elementary School. They were a lot less happy about the number of infractions in that report.

Speeding in school zones is compounded by the fact that those little pedestrians are often the least experienced and most easily distracted.

Perhaps we should take a cue from the car show afficianados in our approach to driving. Many of these shiny, chrome showpieces were built for speed. But their owners recognize the joy that can be found in a properly executed — and sedate — parade drive like the one scheduled for Friday night from Parksville’s Community Park to the beachfront in Qualicum Beach.

School zone speed limit signs are not simply roadside pop art. And they’re not “suggestions.”

Of all the dangers our children face on a daily basis, there’s no reason they should be subject to a preventable case of leadfoot poisoning. Oh, and lose the phone.

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News