Police urge traffic caution following accident
Police are urging both motorists and pedestrians to be vigilant in monitoring back-to-school traffic following an accident last week that left a young teen with minor injuries.
At about 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 6, a 13-year-old youth was riding a bicycle to school, and was hit by a vehicle leaving the Ross Ford Elementary School parking lot, said RCMP Cpl. Warren Wright.
“The child was driving northbound on 23 Street,” said Wright, “did not stop at the stop sign, and proceeded through the intersection without stopping.”
He said a person in a vehicle coming out of the parking lot of Ross Ford, headed eastward, had sun glare and didn’t see the student, who was late for school, go through the stop sign.
“(The vehicle) collided with the bicycle’s front tire,” said Wright. “Fortunately the 13-year-old escaped with just minor scrapes.”
He is reminding cyclists to treat their bikes like vehicles, which means stopping and yielding at all stop and yield signs, and utilizing crosswalks to get across intersections.
No charges were laid after the incident, said Wright.
“The bicycle shouldn’t have been there,” he said. “I think it was largely the cyclist’s fault and I think the sun glare was a factor.”
“We’re always reminding people school’s back, to obey posted speed signs, and be wary that children are coming out from all different directions and not necessarily looking where they’re going.”
Wright noted that the child was wearing a helmet at the time, which probably lessoned the injuries.
Joyce Coates, who has driven a school bus in Didsbury for the last few years, said the site is a dangerous intersection because of the combination of the mass of students and the volume of cars.
“It’s a safety issue because it’s a really busy 20 minutes, morning and afternoon,” said Coates. “And a lot of parents drive their kids, so it’s a really busy window and everybody’s got a schedule to keep.
“Not that their time isn’t important, because we all value our time,” she said, “but how important is it? Is it more important than safety?”
She suggested that an RCMP officer being strategically placed could definitely help people mind the rules.
“It’s for the safety of the kids,” she said. “They need to feel safe.
“Driving is a privilege, and whenever we have a privilege, we need to take it very seriously.”