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Letter: Pedestrians have responsibilities in school zones

Pedestrians, as well as motor vehicles, have responsibilities in school zones.
Pedestrians, as well as motor vehicles, have responsibilities in school zones.

 

There has been much talk in the media about roads, the state of driving in the province, and pedestrian accidents. I have written numerous times about road conditions and they are (albeit too slowly) being fixed.

Pedestrians have to take their responsibilities seriously as well. As drivers, we are bound by the Highway Traffic Act and are given that responsibility both morally and legally. As a boy growing up in London, we were taught road safety both by our parents and at school. It was etched in our memories, so much so that it was an automatic response. The mantra at the time, 60 years ago, was “Be alert, look right, left and right again and cross the road safely”! (In Newfoundland and Labrador, substitute left, right and left again.) Education, education, education.

From my general observations, some pedestrians either don’t understand this or don’t want to. High school and post-secondary students are the worst! They lunge across the road anywhere they wish, without any regard for traffic and oblivious to the world around them. They are either talking on their cellphones with heads down or staring at them while texting. After screeching to a halt on many occasions, I get a dirty look or a worse hand gesture, as if I am the one who shouldn’t be on the road!

They are either talking on their cellphones with heads down or staring at them while texting.

Now, a suggestion to solve the school zone traffic problems. Do as they do in Florida. Make every school zone a mandatory 15 mile-per-hour (25 kilometres per hour) speed restriction area between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., or as deemed suitable. In addition, there is a police (or security) presence to strictly enforce the regulations. It is simple, effective and safe.

It will not stop people who want to break the law, but would be a very positive step to solving many of the traffic issues that our school children face daily.

 

Dave Rudofsky

St. John’s

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