Nfld. & Labrador

Paradise parents hit streets over crosswalk safety at Holy Family School

Some parents in Paradise took to the streets Friday to express their concerns about safety near Holy Family School.

Paradise traffic

6 years ago
Duration 1:57
A group of parents want to bring attention to traffic issues on Ridgewood Drive in Paradise. 1:57

Some parents in Paradise took to the streets Friday to express their concerns about safety near Holy Family School.

The crosswalks near the school do not have a crossing guard and parents say drivers need to pay more attention in school zones.

Mike Rose says there are two crosswalks to access Holy Family School in Paradise, but no crossing guard on duty to stop drivers speeding through the area. (Kenny Sharpe/CBC)

Mike Rose has a child who attends Holy Family. He witnessed a close call last week near the school on St. Thomas Line, when a daycare worker trying to cross the road at a crosswalk was almost hit by a vehicle.

"There have been a number of near misses — children, daycare workers almost struck by vehicles," said Rose.

"People are just not paying attention and not slowing down and actually passing while cars are stopped at the crosswalk." 

There are speed indicator signs posted on St. Thomas Line to notify drivers they're passing through a school zone, but Rose said the main traffic entrance to the school is actually on Ridgewood Drive — where there are no signs. 

Some parents in Paradise held a small protest asking drivers to slow down near Holy Family Elementary School. (Kenny Sharpe/CBC)

There are two crosswalks in the area: one on Ridgewood and another at the entrance of the parking lot to get into the school but there are no crossing guards on duty.

With large suburban developments surrounding the area and high traffic volumes, Rose said drivers just need to be more aware.

"It's a huge problem, as much signage as you can put there, I don't think it matters to some people," said Rose.

"They're in a rush ... they just don't pay attention."

Laurie Anne MacDonald owns the daycare near the school and says something needs to be done before someone gets hurt. (Kenny Sharpe/CBC)

Ongoing issue

Laurie Anne MacDonald is the owner of Priceless Treasures Daycare which is located just down the road from the school.

She said speed in the area has been an ongoing issue.

The daycare makes about eight trips to and from the school each day and she's very concerned by what she sees.

Drivers go through crosswalks even when children are using them, say parents (Kenny Sharpe)

"We've had incidents where we're crossing the crosswalk and people are driving through it while we're on it," said MacDonald.

"They are not looking out for the children, speeds are excessive, people are on their phones, they are just not paying attention, and this has been getting worse in the past year or so."

She said the town, school board, government officials and police have all been notified of the problem.

"It's going to be too late when someone's injured," MacDonald told CBC.

Speed indicator signs are posted on St. Thomas Line near Holy Family School, but one parent says those signs aren't doing enough to stop speeding drivers. (CBC)

Town response

The Deputy Mayor of Paradise, Paul Dinn, said the town has been working with parents for some time to make the school zone safer.

"There's 35 or more signs in the area," said Dinn.

"In terms of trying to arrange for a full-time crossing guard or a volunteer crossing guard, I think that's what we're trying to work towards." 

Dinn said the town is also in the process of installing pedestrian walk signs with flashing beacons at the crosswalk from the daycare to the school parking lot.

Municipal enforcement and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers have increased their presence in the area as well.

MacDonald said "it's not only a school issue ... people should be all working together to get this all looked after before someone is hurt."