The perils of crossing guard Linda Grantham are justified.
Seeing a crossing guard at an intersection should automatically register to drivers that children will be crossing and that the guard is to be obeyed. This is not the time to hit the gas when the light turns green, or when making a left or right turn with a green light. Slow down and do a proper shoulder check to confirm the crosswalk is clear and/or the crossing guard is present.
The intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Jacklin Road is not a 30 km/h school zone, thus motorists do not see the need to pay more attention to pedestrians or slow down. The 30 km/h speed limit on Goldstream in front of Spencer middle school has a crosswalk but no crossing guard. Many drivers driving west here slow down to 30, but just after the crosswalk they begin accelerating, unaware that the 30 km/h zone continues until past the sign and around the bend on the opposite side of the road.
Some suggestions to eliminate the horrors of the Ruth King school crosswalk at this intersection are:
1. Establish a well-marked 30 km/h speed limit on Goldstream and the appropriate distance on Jacklin.
2. This 30 km/h zone, when implemented, should be first publicized in the media well before and then new signage erected to alert drivers of the new regulation.
3. During the first week of operation at the posted speed, the RCMP should have a daily presence during pre-school and end-of-school times to warn motorists that police presence means something and to issue hefty tickets to offenders. People have to be trained to think differently. Signs won’t do it, police will.
4. Perhaps even install a traffic camera to record the plate numbers of drivers who commit illegal and/or dangerous actions at this intersection, which will be recorded on video and backed up by the crossing guard. Violators can then be summoned to pay fines or make a court appearance.
5. Maybe flashing amber lights (as at the fountain) should be adopted, to be used in conjunction with the crossing guard.
6. Random radar speed indicators and police radar traps should continue, until it becomes evident that motorists are paying attention.
Motorists, ask yourself this question: do you really want to hit a child with your car?