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SHARE THE ROAD: Larger vehicles today pose a greater risk for children

This column is an imaginary correspondence between Maddie the Motorist and Patty the Pedestrian.
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Bert Groenenberg is an avid cyclist who enjoys riding his bike for freedom and fitness. Groenenberg appreciated the bicycle-themed sculpture in downtown Rossland on a road trip. (Photo submitted)

This column is an imaginary correspondence between Maddie the Motorist and Patty the Pedestrian.

Dear Patty the Pedestrian;

Last week, I was dropping off my two children near their school. They ran off down the street to the crosswalk. It is a good thing we have a crossing guard there. Why? Because the sight line on the larger vehicles is so high, drivers are not able to see younger children in front of them.

A Consumers’ Reports article points out that up to 10 small children can be in the blind zone of a Ford F150 pickup truck! Yet there are trucks with even higher front ends than F150s.

What should we do Patty?

Signed; Maddy the Motorist

Dear Maddy the Motorist.

Thanks for bringing this up. It has been a worry of mine for a while. The busy drop off and pick up areas near or at our schools can be a dangerous place.

If you already live within a kilometre or two from your school, you could get your children to walk or bike. Fewer vehicles mean less danger. If you live farther than that or need to avoid a dangerous crossing, you could drop your children off a block or two from the school.

Both these ideas help our children to be more active and get fresh air before they get to the school building. According to Kamloops pediatrician Dr. Trent Smith, our children need much more exercise to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and even stroke.

ParticipACTION reports that, Canada wide: “Forty-six per cent of parents indicate that their children (5-17 years) either solely commute actively to school or commute partially in an active way in combination with non-active modes.” https://www.participaction.com/the-science/children-and-youth-report-card/. p 29

So, Maddy, could that work for your children? It would be safer for our kids and healthier too.

Signed: Patty the Pedestrian

Bert Groenenberg has walked and biked in Williams Lake for over 30 years.

READ MORE: SHARE THE ROAD: A pedestrian’s take on trying to cross Mackenzie Avenue in Williams Lake

READ MORE: SHARE THE ROAD: What does the carbon tax do in B.C.?



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