Let’s share the road and avoid tragedy

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The community of St. Albert is collectively mourning the loss of a young life following a mishap Friday morning.

A six-year-old boy was killed when he was struck by a bus just outside Ă©cole Marie Poburan school on Sir Winston Churchill Avenue and Woodlands Road. It seems unfathomable that something like this could take place. How could it happen, in broad daylight, in a crosswalk on Woodlands Road? Our collective hearts go out to the family, friends, and indeed the school staff and students at Poburan who will undoubtedly struggle to make sense of such a senseless tragedy. It’s an unimaginable loss.

An accident, by its very definition, is an unfortunate incident that happens unintentionally and unexpectedly. Accidents, particularly vehicle accidents, are, for the most part, preventable. The Gazette ran a story just last Wednesday about school zone safety. In that article, RCMP and municipal enforcement officers were refreshing the public’s memory about school zone speed limits, pedestrian crosswalks and parking in front of schools. It was a public awareness campaign intended to mitigate the chances for accidents. Obey the laws and the chances for an accident are greatly diminished.

The full details of Friday’s incident are not yet known but the tragedy should serve as a wakeup call to all of us who share the road.

Accidents are literally out there waiting to happen on St. Albert’s streets. Far too often motorists are seen breaking the law. The most common infractions are speeding and using cellphones while driving.

However, there are a host of other things happening on city streets that are worth noting. A handful of female drivers have been spotted putting on lipstick or makeup while tailgating on Boudreau Road. Male drivers have been seen shaving – yes, shaving – with an electric razor while speeding down St. Albert Trail.

And school parking lots have been known to take on the look of a demolition derby arena, as students and vehicles dodge each other during the morning and afternoon rush.

All of the above (and there are countless other infractions) contribute greatly to the likelihood of accidents. Too many people treat the road like it’s theirs to do whatever they want.

Despite the plethora of photo radar and speed traps in St. Albert, speeding is still a great concern.

It’s easy to reduce and virtually eliminate traffic accidents – just eliminate the lousy behaviour and focus on the road. Pedestrians and motorists need to share the road, and everyone needs to do his part to ensure the roads are safe.

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St. Albert Gazette

The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.