Area kids went back to school this week, and parents and teachers once again began fretting about children's safety when getting on or off the school bus. Scott Wilson, a Senior Policy Analyst for the Alberta Motor Association, explained that both pedestrians and drivers need to take responsibility for safety on the road.
"As a driver, if you're driving in a school zone where kids are being dropped off from school buses, you've got to make sure you're very aware of what's going on," he said. "Reduce your speed. Stop if a school bus is dropping kids off."
There are a number of well-trafficked playground and school zones in Drumheller, and numerous pedestrian crosswalks, meaning that drivers should stay alert to the changing speed limits in town.
"From a driver's perspective, you might [want to] keep a really good eye on what the speed limit is in those areas," elaborated Wilson. "Especially, if you're going into a school zone or a playground zone, and it's not unlikely that it'll be a 30 kilometre per hour speed limit."
Pedestrians, including children, need to stay alert when walking near roads and highways.
"Anytime you're out walking as a pedestrian, it makes sense to be sure of your surroundings, to make sure you're walking in the right spot, [that] you're watching for traffic," cautioned Wilson. "Especially if you're getting ready to cross the street, you've got to look both ways and make sure it's safe to go."
The most recent pedestrian casualty collision statistics available are from 2015, when Alberta Transportation found that more than three pedestrians were struck per day (on average), and over 100 in January 2015 alone.