Concerns raised about school zone safety after close call between student, car
Published Thursday, November 7, 2019 9:59PM AST
Last Updated Thursday, November 7, 2019 10:01PM AST
DARTMOUTH -- After a close call between a student and a car in a Dartmouth school zone this week, parents and safety advocates are calling for stricter rules to keep students safe.
Nadine Supple says drop-off and pick-up are chaos at her children's school, and she's worried about their safety.
"I'm severely scared for them," Supple said. "I've even instructed my children to walk down this way where there's a marked crossing guard because it's a matter of time before someone get's hurt."
But even marked crosswalks aren't always safe.
Crossing guards in one Halifax school zone have seen many near-misses and often worry about their own safety
"There are times when I go out and there's a car in front of me, just inches away," says school crossing guard George Daine. "And also, when you're crossing, the car is almost right on your heels, not giving you time to get off the crosswalk."
Martyn Williams is a parent and road safety advocate.
At his children's school, parents have put pylons on the road to prevent drivers from parking in areas where students are crossing, but Williams says more permanent infrastructure, like speed bumps, should be in place.
"My biggest concern here is that a child could get hit and that we could have a child fatality, which fortunately we haven't had," Williams says. "The children that go to this school start from pre-primary age and at that age, someone wouldn't have to be speeding and they could kill a child."
Supple says she's contacted parking enforcement, the police department, the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, the school principal, and the school's police liaison officer.
"Nothing seems to be done at this point," Supple says.
Police say speed is a big factor
"There's a big difference in the amount of time it takes to stop a vehicle at 50 kilometres versus 20 kilometres an hour," says Sgt. Mo Chediac of the Halifax Regional Police Traffic Unit.
When it comes to safety in school zones in HRM, many crossing guards say drivers just aren't following the rules of the road. People are concerned that if more safety measures aren't put in place soon, something tragic could happen.