Elicia Grange, Regional Coordinator AMA School Safety Patrol with her assistant student Kaden Stamhuis as she goes through the Point, Pause, Double Check and Proceed method for crossing the street.

– Lucie Roy Photo

by Lucie Roy

Morinville Public School students learned about pedestrian safety Oct. 14 from two guest speakers the school brought in. Bruce Adams, Regional Traffic Safety Consultant Capital Region, and Elecia Grange, Regional Coordinator AMA School Safety Patrol covered considerable ground on the ins and outs of pedestrian and bike safety, including the importance of walking a bike across the road.

“You are not considered a pedestrian by law if you are riding your bike across the crosswalk,” Bruce Adams told Grades 6 to 8 students in his presentation. “You are considered a vehicle and, therefore, depending on the situation, others may not stop for you. They should stop for you but do not have to. So get off your bike and walk across.”

Adams went on to say he is finding more and more pedestrians are getting struck by vehicles because they are on their cell phones. In addition to advising students to avoid distracted walking, he also advocated putting down the hood on hoodies when crossing the street, wearing bright-coloured clothing at night and cautioned against jaywalking and darting out into traffic.

The speaker challenged the older students to lead by example and look after younger students.

Elecia Grange, Regional Coordinator AMA School Safety Patrol spoke mainly to those younger students and emphasized the Point Pause and Proceed system before crossing the street. Grange told students when they came to a crosswalk they were to stamp their feet to train them to come to a full stop and then point out their left arm as this is the closet lane of traffic. Pausing, the final step, is most important as just pointing out their arm does not stop traffic. Crossing the street must only happen when it is safe to proceed.

“Check and check for every step taken as you cross,” she said. “Your eye is on the traffic. When you are in the road, you are now sharing the road with the vehicles. Normally people come to a crosswalk, take a quick look and go straight ahead before stepping out and tend to look where they are going. The simple message is Point, Pause, Double check then Proceed.”

Morinville Public School Principal Wayne Rufiange said the safety reminder was in response to two accidents involving Morinville students, including one from his own school.

“I know your teachers talk about safety walking from time to time but because it has happened already [and] to make sure we were on top of things, we really wanted to stress the importance to everyone about being safe on way to school and just any time you are walking around,” he said.

Rufiange said as they are doing the design project for the new public middle school they are looking at people crossing and where they would cross the road. He expressed concerns about building the new school behind the arena in terms of people turning on 104 Street and how many students will be crossing 100 Avenue.

“It is really tough to cross Main Street; it is a highway,” he said.

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