Six Stupid Things You Shouldn't Do When Dropping Your Kids Off At School

Is there a more dangerous profession than "parent taxi" when it's school pickup time? Here's what not to do when you're dropping the kids off to learn.

Image: Rubygoes

There's something about dropping kids off at school that seems to bring the absolute worst out in drivers. It's by no means a gendered thing, or for that matter something that seems to vary state by state. Go past any school at around 9am or 3pm, and you're almost bound to see instances of all of the following, none of which you should do.

#1: Double Parking

Image: Jkraut Look, we get it. You're busy, and the available parking spaces aren't terribly numerous in your particular suburban street.

However, that doesn't give you the automatic right to decide that simply stopping in the road is the right way to drop kids off, or for that matter, somewhere you can park while you wait for the bell to ring.

#2: Getting Kids Out On The Road

Image: Ben Francis Most cars have doors on both sides of the car, which means you have a choice as to which side to load or offload your offspring.

There's the pavement side, where they can frolic in the sunshine on the grass, happy and safe.

There's the roadside, where every other car is a potential deathtrap, given the way some drivers speed through school zones, or roar away having dropped their own kids off already.

Kids don't have the same level of awareness when it comes to road safety, because they're kids. They're simply not developed that way in terms of both visual acuity and plain old common sense, which is why it's baffling that so many parents readily get kids out (or put them in) on the road side of their cars. There are doors on both sides of your car. Use them!

#3: Park Across Driveways

Image: Richard Masoner This is a really simple one. It's illegal, but it's also massively inconsiderate to the folks that actually own the driveway. Again, yes, there may be a dearth of available parking spaces, but that's a question of planning, and if needed, accepting that you may have to walk your kids a little way from where you park the car.

#4: Abuse The Drop Zones

A lot of schools will have a specified "kiss and drop" zone where you can quickly let your kids out and be on your way.

A lot of parents seem to view the rules around these (typically; no more than 2 minutes, engine must be left running with an adult in the car) as mere serving suggestions, because they'd like to drop their kids off in the classroom... maybe help with a reading class or two... catch up with gossip... and then return to their cars.

Guess what? You've just made the parking problem worse for absolutely everybody else. That's not something that you really ought to be congratulated on.

#5: Cross Away From The Crossing Guards

Image: Tim J Keegan Again, this seems like a simple and logical step. If there's a busy road near a school, it's usual that at the primary level, a crossing guard will be present to assist kids across the road, stopping traffic as needed.

Time and time again, though, I've seen parents park their cars just a few metres from the crossing guard, get themselves out of the car and then dart across the road like startled rabbits. Way to teach your kids about safely crossing, not to mention further stuffing up the flow of traffic as they screech to a halt to avoid spreading you all over the road like so much strawberry jam.

#6: Pull Out From The Kerb Like A Lunatic

Image: Antoine de Cardaillac Dropped the kids off at school, or picked them up? It's time to rejoin the flow of traffic, and that's where the last little dig of school pickup insanity rears its ugly head.

Again, it's essentially egocentric activity that views your own car as the only one on the road. Of course, none of the rest of us mind if you decide to do a sudden, non-indicated fifteen point turn in your family chariot that blocks the road off entirely, even though there's a roundabout just down the road that could achieve the same goal cleanly.

Likewise, darting out from roadside without indicating, or for that matter suddenly honking the horn to get the attention of that mum whose kid is also in school band.

All of this is fine, and everyone loves it when you do that.

Except, you know, not at all.


    #7 driving a massive SUV and not knowing how to drive it.

    Last edited 22/07/15 11:58 am

    #9 Park on a round-about - yes, you drive a soft-roader and can drive up slight inclines and even curbs. That doesn't mean you should
    #10 Overtake people stopped at a crossing - in fact, you shouldn't do this ever. Even if you arent dropping kids off at school.

    Last edited 22/07/15 12:07 pm

    Well, I'm sure those are good rules, but people don't actually DO th...
    *remembers examples of what 'People' are like*

    Oh god. Really?


      Source: I lived across from a school for eighteen years.
      Also, have kids and now have done some drop-offs and lived to regret it.

      Last edited 22/07/15 2:27 pm

      I was almost hit by a car while I was crossing at a flagged crossing because a driver overtook the 4-5 cars stopped at the crossing to let me across.

    # 9: Get into a dance fight with the Crossing Guards
    #10: Park on top of another car
    #11: Get into a fist fight with the Crossing Guards
    #12: Blindfold your children and let them loose in the middle of the road
    #13: Genocide
    #14: Get into a cold war with the Crossing Guards
    #15: Open your door without looking in the mirror first
    #16: Sacrifice other parents' children to Baal
    #17: Ignore School Zones

    Last edited 22/07/15 12:21 pm

      #17 is the one I see the most.

      Slow down to 40, have the car in front fly off, have the car behind look like it's going to smash into your rear. And then have them both turn into the school.

        Its worse and more inconsistent than that. Your stuck behind some fool that is in the right lane traveling 60 in a 70 zone. You get past them finally and can then do the speed limit. Then you come across a school zone so you slow down to 40 as that's now the speed limit and WHOOOSH the car you just passed zips past you still doing 60.

        Last edited 22/07/15 1:33 pm

      To be fair, Baal guaranteed there would be more spaces for parking if #16 was done...

    #11 move the bus zone to the normal parking zone for parents, but dont allocate any extra spaces for parking

    what happened to #8???

      Got hit by a car trying to cross down the road from the Crossing Guard

    Is there anything I shouldn't do if I'm dropping the kids off at the pool?

    Actually, #3 (parking across a driveway) is legal (in NSW) if you treat it as a drop-off zone (#4). No more than two minutes and stay near the car (and I don't think the engine needs to be running though, for either 3 or 4).

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