The Gleaner

Parents and administrators are questioning school zone safety in Huntingdon

The school community at École Notre-Dame elementary school in Huntingdon is recovering from shock, after a Grade 3 student was struck by a car while walking to school on June 5.

According to a spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec, the child was involved in an accident with an automobile around 7:45 a.m. while she was crossing a busy intersection between François-Cleyn and York Streets. The spokesperson confirms police were called to the scene. The child was not seriously injured and was not transported to a hospital. Her mother later confirmed on social media that her daughter was scared but was not physically hurt in the accident.

Huntingdon parents quickly took to social media to call on the school and the town of Huntingdon to do something to ensure drivers slow down and respect school zone safety regulations.

Erin Duheme Noel, whose daughter is also in Grade 3 at Notre-Dame, says her parents live at this corner and she has seen drivers go through the stop sign. “I just want to be sure something is going to be put in place to be sure this does not happen again,” she says. A crossing guard is in place nearby, but she suggests signage could also be installed.

Collin Thomas, the principal at Heritage Elementary in Huntingdon, says they have resorted to requesting police presence at the beginning and end of the day to help secure the school zone. “Two staff members block traffic, and they have to remind drivers they can’t pass while bus lights are flashing,” says Thomas, who estimates up to three-quarters of those who are stopped question the application of the law.

“It’s mind-boggling,” he admits. “Life is busy, but we can’t take it back if ever an accident occurs and a child is injured.”

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