Letter: More police presence needed

Publisher’s Note: The following letter is in response to our Jan. 30 story on an alleged hit-and-run near Morinville Public Elementary School

I rarely see RCMP presence during the schools’ busy opening and closing times. The RCMP’s efforts are weak, to say the least, when it comes to enforcing traffic laws for the sake of Morinville youths’ safety. I drive my son to school every morning, and every morning I see gross examples of careless driving in the school zones and important intersections. The four-way stop at Grandin Drive and 100 Avenue is a pedestrian’s nightmare as more drivers are concerned with “their turn to proceed” than watching for the likelihood of students crossing and making their way to schools. Every morning I watch the same resident across from GH Primeau parked outside his home with trailer in tow right over a crosswalk. I have witnessed a driver make an illegal U-turn in the middle of Grandin Drive along the Primeau schoolyard very often as well. I have seen bus drivers texting while driving; and even they have to park in crosswalks while off-loading in order to make room for all students to be dropped off. The teachers are out in the morning to make sure the students can cross safely, and occasionally they are forced to step out in to traffic to get the attention of drivers that haven’t noticed the children waiting to cross at the crosswalk. What I don’t see at the schools often enough are the RCMP or Peace Officers.

I am not blaming the RCMP for this child being struck by a car; but victim blaming isn’t the answer either. It should not be necessary to buy a reflective wardrobe to make it to school safely in the morning; it should not be necessary for parents to have to park and clog up our school zones even more in order to help their children across the street. Drivers should feel deterred from driving carelessly instead of just feeling contempt towards local law enforcement because of photo radar.

Kerry Knight

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