Dangerous crosswalks have parents of George Jay Elementary School calling on city to keep kids safe


WATCH: We all know to slow down in school zones, but parents at George Jay Elementary school say it’s rare to find a day where they feel safe getting to and from school with their kids. As Kori Sidaway tells us, they’re now calling on the city to upgrade the dangerous crosswalks to keep their kids safe.

Picking up her kids is the best part of Angela Carmichael’s day. Quickly followed by the worst: the walk home.

“People just aren’t slowing down here,” said Carmichael.

George Jay Elementary School borders busy Cook Street, and even with many warning signs, cars are still zooming by.

“If somebody isn’t paying attention, and they speed through the crosswalk,” said George Jay parent Vanessa Hamilton George.

“People are in such a rush to get to work, or wherever they need to be. They don’t look both ways to make sure there’s a child waiting there to cross,” said young mom, Brandy Stoutenburg

And it doesn’t take long to see the problem. Even with the crossing guard, cars still aren’t stopping.

“I’ve been doing it so long and I don’t see people changing!” said Denis Robichaud, who has been volunteering with the school for 27 years.

“The little ones, they don’t always see them. And they can get hurt!”

And just this June, one did. A young boy leaving school was hit by a speeding car and left with internal bleeding and a head wound after he tried to cross Cook Street.

He’s since recovered, but for Carmichael, the event solidified the fact that the school has a major safety issue.

“It’s not a what-if anymore,” said Carmichael.

“We really don’t want it to happen again, or it to be worse.”

So since then, the parents of George Jay have been calling on the city for a change.

“Do we ask for lights, do we ask for speed-bumps, do we expand the school zone?” asked Carmichael.

“That’s what we’re asking the city to kind of at least give us some guidance as to what we’re supposed to do to keep 500 kids safe in an ever-expanding school.”

And after months of hounding, the city is finally listening.

“Safety is our primary function here., so we take the job very seriously,” said City of Victoria’s Assistant Director of Transportation Brad Dellebuur.

“It’s early days for the investigation, we’re pulling together some information we’re looking at some other crosswalks to make sure they’re visible for drivers.”

After consultation with parents at the end of November and the following investigation, the city will submit their findings to council.

For now, both the city and parents are asking drivers to keep their eyes up and slow down, because getting there five seconds earlier isn’t worth the life of a child.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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