The schoolchildren with their heavy backpacks walking near a Norman elementary school this week should have reminded us it's time to slow down around schools. Instead, it took an impatient motorist that passed us in a school zone on Pickard Avenue.

Norman schools began classes Tuesday and police officers are patrolling the streets looking for speeders who just can't seem to slow down in those designated school zones.

The majority of Norman's elementary schools are tucked into neighborhoods so traffic should already be slow. But a few of them ? Washington, Roosevelt, Lincoln ? are on major thoroughfares with several lanes of traffic.

Youngsters often get distracted, especially during the first few weeks of school, and don't watch out for traffic as they have learned. So, drivers need to be wary of them.

For that impatient motorist on Pickard the other morning, we are reminded of a grandmotherly expression: Everybody is here for a reason. Even if it's just to set a bad example.

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