LETTER: Kids deserve to be safe from traffic on residential streets

ABOVE: Amber Bowditch of Richmond, who had both legs broken when she was hit by a car in Westboro, estimated to be travelling at 10km/h. Photo by Barry Gray.

I was hit crossing the street in Ottawa, at Richmond and Churchill in Westboro. I was between the white lines and I had the light. I made sure the car saw me (she looked at me and stopped so I began to cross). Sadly she did not register my presence, proceeded and hit the gas by accident when she realized she was going to hit me and the stroller I was pushing.

At 10 km an hour (officers guess based on distance) she broke two bones in my leg. Think of what that would do to a child.

I drive through Stittsville weekly and have seen the speed that people drive residential streets. I have seen them cut corners and ride the sidewalk. I have been passed on West Ridge (I was doing 45 km/hr).

Kids need to learn to pay attention to their surroundings. Kids that are aware become teenagers with driver licenses that are aware. Kids that see adults behave in a safe manner will generally behave in a safe manner.

I am not advocating learning on Main Street, or Abbott Street, or West Ridge. I am not advocating learning on streets that have a great deal of street parking (due to crazy small driveways).

I am advocating children playing in their front yards. I am advocating children playing on cul-de-sacs where the whole neighbourhood agrees.

Children, even with supervision, do run out onto streets. They are learning. Drivers need to pay attention in residential areas. Kids need to learn to make eye contact, to judge bad driving.

If they can’t learn on residential streets where they should be safe, where are they going to learn?

Amber Bowditch


2 thoughts on “LETTER: Kids deserve to be safe from traffic on residential streets”

  1. Just yesterday we saw 2 young boys riding their dirt bike at 50km/h without stopping at the STOP sign. Fernbank residential area.

  2. The people that speed on these residential streets are people that live in the neighbourhood. Follow anyone of them, and you will see they will turn into their own driveway, or be heading out of the neighbourhood. I witness them EVERYTIME.

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