Monday, November 21, 2011 11:10 AM
Do you recognize this traffic sign?
Do these signs bother you as much as they bother me?
It's only a school zone "when children are present".
What exactly does "present" mean? Do the children have to be out near the street in order for the limit to apply? What if there are children on the school playground behind a fence? They are "present" because I can see them from the road, but they are on the other side of the fence and shouldn't be crossing the road. So do I need to slow down?
Also, does that mean the limit applies anytime children are present? If I see a couple of kids walking home from soccer practice at 6 o'clock at night (well after school hours), does that trigger the school zone? What if it's not even a school day? What if it's 6 PM on a Sunday in the middle of July (during Summer Break)? If I see some kids near the street in that situation, do I have to slow down because children "are present"?
Does the sign only apply to school hours? Or is it only during the hour or so around the start and end of school? How am I supposed to know the school's hours? I don't have kids, and it's been almost a decade since I've attended a public school, so how can I be expected to keep up with what times school days start and end? How am I supposed to know whether that school is a 9-month school (in which case 10 am on a Wednesday in the middle of July is not a school day) or a 12-month school (in which case 10 am on a Wednesday in the middle of July is well within an hour of the start of an elementary school day)?
Why are these signs so ambiguous? Why can't the city just put up a sign that that says
Or would that be too much to expect people to read?
Maybe it's just me, but I prefer my traffic signs to be as specific and definitive as possible. Ambiguity in traffic rules only leads to problems. And signs like this really don't help.