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Child safety in spotlight after young boy hit by truck near Cambridge school

Parents and the local councillor are calling for quick action to keep kids safe
pedestrian crossing light stop turl 2016
Photo by Jeff Turl

Just days after kids returned to school, a nine-year-old boy was laying in a hospital bed after being hit by a truck.

The boy and his brother had been crossing Myers Road mid-block shortly after being dismissed from Moffat Creek Public School on Sept. 10 when one of them was hit by a commercial pickup truck.

That same night, Cambridge Ward 7 Councillor Scott Hamilton says he received an email from the boy's mom with pictures of her son in hospital.

Hamilton says his reaction was one of shock and horror.

"Especially concerning the history of this issue," said Hamilton who was elected to represent the area last October. "This was the biggest issue I heard about when I was going door to door in this particular area of Ward 7, it was the safety of students going to Moffat Creek Public School and Holy Spirit Catholic School, both on Myers Road."

"That was the main issue I head at the doorsteps and, once I was elected as councillor, it was the first issue I took on, the first emails I sent were to representatives saying 'hey, what can we do to increase school safety?'"

Hamilton says, despite some seemingly productive meetings with the Region of Waterloo, there unfortunately hasn't been much in the way of concrete action.

"And so for me as a councillor fighting so hard on this issue and having these meetings and feeling a lot of progress and momentum, getting those pictures, it was a sense of dread, a sense of horror, I couldn't sleep that night," Hamilton said.

Hamilton says there are a few measures which he thinks could and should be taken to help make sure this kind of incident doesn't happen again.

He says the speed limit in that area should be lowered to 40 km/h and steps should also be taken to secure the intersection of Myers Road and Gatehouse Drive/Lisbon Pines Drive.

"Right now there's no stop signs, there's no lights, looking at securing that intersection in the future so that kids can stop safely and so that drivers might stop as well -- if I could wave my wand, I'd have that done immediately," said Hamilton.

Hamilton says installing flashing lights at pedestrian crossings could also help as well as moving bus stops farther west from the school and adding designated on-street parking.

"Because, right now, the issue with Moffat Creek is you have 80 cars, sometimes 70 and sometimes 90, showing up every morning and every afternoon and it's like a guerrilla warfare style of parking."

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