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Slow down, stay alert with influx of school kids on residential streets

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
August 30th, 2017

City, fire, and police officials are reminding area motorists to drive carefully in residential areas, especially with school starting back up in a week.

Statistics from ICBC indicate that in B.C., on average, five child pedestrians aged five to 18 are killed and 290 injured in 270 car crashes every year.

Castlegar Director of Transportation and Public Works Chris Barlow says there have been concerns expressed over reckless speeding in residential areas this summer, and it becomes exponentially more important this sort of behaviour is curtailed with the upcoming influx of children and school buses on city streets.

“It’s more of an issue here than in some other cities – Castlegar was named the 16th most active city in Canada by Expedia.ca, which means we have more people biking, walking, jogging, skateboarding, etc.,” he said adding that, while this is a proud distinction, it’s critical for motorists to recognize the increased jeopardy, both to pedestrians and themselves.

School District 20 has slated the first day back to school for Sept. 5, one week from today, meaning hundreds of kids travelling to and from school as many as four trips per day.

“Children are going to be really excited, running across streets – and not necessarily using the crosswalks,” said Castlegar top cop Sgt. Laurel Mathew. “It’s up to us to be extra vigilant and aware.”

Mathew added that police will be stepping up patrols, with a keen eye toward speed and reckless or distracted driving.
Fire Chief Sam Lattanzio echoed these sentiments, asking motorists to , “Just slow down, especially in school zones. Be very aware of all the little people who will be out and about.”

Barlow also underscored the importance of pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, and so forth to wear reflective clothing, particularly at night, and to use designated lanes during their travels. He also said pedestrians should remove electronic gadgets/ear buds before crossing intersections or railway tracks.

“As well, when driving, if you see the vehicle in front of you or beside you slow or stop, keep in mind before passing that they may be yielding to a pedestrian,” He said. “The number of accidents involving pedestrians increases during autumn and winter, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep our thoroughfares safe.”

Categories: General

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