Letter: Richmond grandmother warns of speeding traffic

Re: “Drivers: Keep schoolkids safe,” Letters, Sept. 5.

My grandson has just begun Grade 5. He asked if he could walk home from school alone for the first time this September.

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Throughout the summer, we talked about potential safety issues including practicing how to safely cross the street.

“Press the button to activate the pedestrian crossing lights. Wait until all cars have stopped. Make eye contact with the drivers ­— both left and right. Check that the car in the curb lane has also stopped before stepping beyond the stationary vehicles. Take your time. Do not run. Wave a hand to thank the drivers for stopping.”

There is only one intersection he encounters at St. Albans and Bennett Road.

I agreed, that for the first few weeks, I would wait at the intersection to watch him cross safely towards me.

Day one went well. Day two went well.

On day three, having done all the checks and seeing no vehicle approaching on his left, he stepped into the intersection.

I looked to the right, he looked to the left, and we both saw a white Porsche Cayenne travelling at high speed towards him that was obviously not going to stop.

He ran towards me as the car blew through the crosswalk behind him!

It happened so quickly I didn’t get the license plate.

I phoned the RCMP non-emergency number, hoping they might assign a member to the area for a few days to check for speeding and driving infractions — perhaps hand out a few tickets.

I was told this was the wrong jurisdiction to call, and I should contact the bylaws office at the city.

I have sent them an email through their online process.

This intersection and all those within one kilometre of a school need to change from a flashing pedestrian light to a solid red stop light when the button is activated (like the one at St. Albans and General Currie.)

All pedestrians, and particularly our school-age children, are at risk.

Let’s not wait until it’s too late.

Janice Westle


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