Saanich parents call for safer streets after Tuesday morning collision injures child

Saanich parents call for safer streets after Tuesday morning collision injures child

As an eight-year-old recovers after being hit by a driver while walking to school in Saanich Tuesday, parents are calling for change.

The frightening incident unfolded during the morning commute just after 7 a.m. in a crosswalk on Shelbourne Street at San Juan Avenue.

“Fortunately, the injuries were non-life-threatening and initially seemed more severe, but we’re happy to report that the injuries happen to be minor at this time,” said Sgt. Markus Anastasiades with Saanich Police.

Pedestrian-related collisions typically increase over the winter months, and incidents like this have parents in the Saanich area on edge.

“The experience is almost like a warzone level of hypervigilance that I have to bring to make sure my kid isn’t hit, especially in intersections,” said Elise Cote in an interview with CHEK News.

Cote wants Saanich’s new mayor and council to make the municipality’s roads safer as soon as they get into office.

“We as a society need to stop thinking this is just the cost of doing business. It’s not normal. Traffic incidents shouldn’t be one of the highest risks of death for our children. Full stop,” said Cote.

Cote is organizing a rally in response to this morning’s accident. Set for 7:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Shelbourne and San Juan, the rally will protest the “ongoing safety for children and other community members who walk, ride, or roll in Saanich.”

The city’s mayor-elect says making roads safer is one of his first orders of business.

“Prioritizing road safety improvements will absolutely be a priority for this council as we go into this term, and making sure it is safe for kids to go to and from school,” said Dean Murdoch, Saanich mayor-elect.

Murdoch says he hopes to improve lighting and make crosswalks more visible, especially in high-risk areas and school zones, so the commute to school is like a walk in the park no matter the time of year.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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