Safety notice regarding biking to school

This letter was sent to us from Meg who is the bus driver for UBC Kid’s Club.

Sent: November 6th, 2014

Dear Parents

My name is Meg and I am one of the staff at the Kindergarten and Kids Club here on UBC.  You will have seen me driving our yellow school bus to and from U Hill over the years!  This year I am only driving mornings, and this is why I have asked to be able to include a note in a school newsletter.  Since the beginning of the school year I have noticed a number of near misses involving children on bikes and cars driving to the school.  The route we take is down Acadia Rd. from family housing, across University Blvd and down to Chancellor.  What I have seen is children on bikes stopping at University Blvd at the cross walk (on the west side of the road, where the sidewalk is), then when the light is green they cross to the middle of the road and then cut sideways – in front of oncoming traffic – across the second half of University so that they are riding on the right side of the road for the rest of the way to Chancellor.  I’m sure they don’t realize they are crossing illegally on a red light, nor are they thinking about oncoming traffic!  I’ve had it happen in front of the bus more than once this fall.  It is something I see on average twice a week, which is why I feel it is important to let you know.  There have been several times when I was sure I was going to need to call 911 as the cars have been so close to hitting one of the children.  Thankfully most cars are going slow enough through the intersection they have been able to put on the breaks quickly enough to avoid a collision.   Again, I’m sure the children simply aren’t thinking about the oncoming traffic, and (like all kids) they simply don’t think to look either.

I’m hoping that those of you whose children cycle to school will mention this to them.  It does take longer to cross properly and wait for the light to cross over to the right hand side of the road, but the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.  Thank you for your time in reading this, and for taking the time to chat with your children.

Meg Riter

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