Parents rally for safe routes

Parents Nichoel Crawford and Cheryl Dowler conduct pedestrian safety presentations at Coldstream schools

Pedestrian safety is being promoted among Coldstream children.

Parents Nichoel Crawford and Cheryl Dowler conducted safety presentations at Coldstream and Lavington elementaries Monday, and Kalamalka Secondary Tuesday, and they will be at Kidston Elementary Dec. 15.

“Since the decrease in school busing, more kids are walking, but there hasn’t been a strong public message about how to be as safe as possible while walking on Coldstream’s roads, and it shows. There are a lot of walking behaviours that are not the safest,” said Dowler.

The pair researched pedestrian safety programs in other communities, including Lake Country where student Josie Evans died after being struck by a vehicle.

“I felt like Lake Country’s tragedy foreshadowed Coldstream’s future, we needed to do something now but we didn’t know where to start,” said Dowler.

“Then I saw ICBC had launched its own pedestrian safety campaign. We liked how it focused on being bright at night. On an impulse, I phoned ICBC and asked them to come to Coldstream.”

The campaign also involves the Coldstream Fire Department and parent advisory councils. Tolko Industries has provided reflectors for students.

To maintain the momentum, a group known as Walk Safe Coldstream has been formed.

“Walk Safe Coldstream has three main safety messages we want to encourage,” said Crawford.

“Please, when there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic. Second, when crossing the road, teach your children to stop, look, and listen, make sure they know it is always best to use a crosswalk. Third, Coldstream is very dark. Be visible by wearing bright and reflective clothing. Also, the next time you buy your family’s jackets and backpacks – think reflectors – it could save you or your child’s life.”

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