'They could hit a child': Daycare fed up with parking lot shortcut

A daycare supervisor in Stittsville says drivers trying to avoid a traffic light by crossing through the daycare's parking lot are putting children, staff and parents at risk.

Stittsville daycare says drivers try to avoid nearby traffic light by cutting through its parking lot

Taylar Robinson says daycare staff have tried to block the through traffic with these markers, but they've been driven over and dragged through the parking lot numerous times. (Robyn Miller)

A daycare supervisor in Stittsville wants to put the brakes on drivers who she says are racing through the centre's parking lot to avoid a traffic light — putting children, staff and parents at risk.

Taylar Robinson works at the Stittsville Imagination Station Preschool, which sits on the corner of Carp Road and Echowoods Avenue. 

The building has two entrances, one on each street, and Robinson said drivers going north on Carp Road are sneaking through the parking lot to avoid waiting to turn right onto Echowoods Avenue at the traffic light.

"It's a problem because they could hit a child, they could hit a parent, they could hit another vehicle, so we're just looking out for the safety of our kids," she said.

The daycare centre, which has two buildings, offers care to about 65 children daily. They range in age from under one to four years old.

The Highway Traffic Act doesn't deal specifically with drivers cutting through parking lots. (Robyn Miller)

'They don't stop, they don't look'

The entrance on Carp Road has to remain clear in case of emergencies, but staff have made attempts to curb the through traffic by putting up bright traffic markers in the shape of people.

Robinson said they've been driven over repeatedly. 

"They've been dragged to the end of the driveway," said Robinson. "I'm not sure if they don't see them or they don't care."

Parents who drop off and pick up their children told CBC they worry about the traffic, even though they try to keep a close eye on their kids.

They don't stop, they don't look, they just fly through.- Jaimie Hussey, parent

"People will cut through here, and not only do they cut through here, they cut through like it's a road. So they don't stop, they don't look, they just fly through," said Jaimie Hussey, whose two-year-old son attends the daycare.

Matt Russell called the problem "horrible." He said his five-year-old daughter takes direction well but his two-year-old has a mind of her own and sometimes wanders away before he can load her in the car.

"I don't understand why they can't wait the 20 to 30 seconds it is to get a green light and turn right," he said.

Jaimie Hussey says parents are vigilant in the daycare parking lot, but the through-traffic often zooms by without slowing down. (Robyn Miller)

An Ottawa police spokesperson told CBC there's nothing in the Highway Traffic Act preventing drivers from cutting through parking lots. 

"Parking lots are private. If there's a sign up saying 'no through traffic,' then it would be enforceable under the Trespass to Property Act," Const. Amy Gagnon wrote in an email.

And if the driver interferes with traffic while pulling out of the parking lot, they could be charged with failing to yield from a private road.

The fine would be $85.

Taylar Robinson, who works at the Stittsville Imagination Station Preschool, says the daycare has tried in vain to stop drivers from cutting through its parking lot to avoid a traffic light. Parents are concerned as well. 0:38