COUNCILLOR Lorna Douglas discusses road safety in Helensburgh in the Advertiser's latest councillor column.


A RECURRING issue brought to my attention over the last year is one of road safety around schools.

Lately it’s a problem that seems to be increasing in momentum, popping up in conversations either directly or indirectly.

The main problem being raised and discussed is traffic congestion in and around schools at key times when people drop off and pick up their children.

Though these areas can be targeted by police and/or Argyll and Bute Council workers to try and address some of the issues in a practical and more visual way, it will not change the mindset, nor the pattern of behaviour, of the drivers who are causing the problem in the first place.

The real concern being raised here is that there is a danger to our children’s safety. So something has to change.

I am well aware – who isn’t? – that the pace of life today is fast, with many people rushing to the next thing or place that requires them.

But all too often, in the rush of where ‘I’ or ‘mine’ need to be, everyone else is left out and is not factored into the individual’s life awareness.

Most people have experienced this kind of behaviour – on both sides – at some point in their lives, but for many it becomes a way of living.

Selfish or egotistical, perhaps, but often we just drift into things without realising how we got to this point.

It is easy, then, to drift into a lifestyle that focuses on the ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and not realising that this lifestyle in the long run, can do more harm to us than good.

By always rushing about rather than slowing down, by always stressing rather than being more relaxed and by always driving to save time rather than walking to make some quality time, we put pressure on our health and wellbeing and the health and wellbeing of others.

Perhaps at this time of year when we are encouraged to think of others and make New Year resolutions, it might not go amiss, to focus on our driving habits and manners around schools and how this might impact on the safety of ‘others’ particularly school pupils.

Everyone, both the ‘I’ and the ‘other’, will benefit when we all slow the pace down a bit, become more relaxed and take a walk, in no better company surely, than our own children.

Finally, since this is my last column before Christmas, I’d like to finish by wishing everyone a relaxing time over the holidays.