Here we are starting another school year in Metro Vancouver, and Transportation BC and the provincial vehicle insurance provider, ICBC do not disappoint in their mid 20th century vintage take on how children are supposed to be safe walking to school.
Instead of emphasizing a massive campaign for driver behaviour educating drivers to slow down or the Province going forward with 30 kilometer neighbourhood driver speed limits, the onus is put on the kid to plan and fear driver vehicles. You can take a look at the associated materials on this at the Transportation BC website.
The heading is “Prepare to Be Schooled” and no one at the Province checked the definition of that phrase. That refers to the shaming and embarassing of a person, in this case a student, to be at the bottom of the hierarchy of road users.
“Being taught the proper way to perform an action, via extreme ownage and embarrasment. This requires the schooler, who is always of such a high level of skill that the schoolee has no chance of saving his reputation, to utterly dominate and show no remorse.”
Take a look at the text that the Province has written below in the graphic:
That’s not the kind of relationship that parents of school aged children want with vehicle drivers, nor is embarrassment, shame or fear the way for children to walk safely to school. It is proven internationally that there are three main factors involved in driver crashes with pedestrians and cyclists: driver inattention, driver speed, and driver intoxication.
Of course the Province could handle the driver speed issue right away by allowing municipalities to go to 30 kilometer speed limits, but it all about driver hurriedness and convenience, not the right priority of saving lives and preventing serious injury. Vision Zero is the approach for no road deaths or serious injuries , which has had remarkable success in Europe.
There’s also the City of Edinburgh, that in three years of adopting 30 km/h speed limits have lowered deaths and serious injuries from crashes by 31% , and have data showing that the cost savings for slower speeds were 60 million Canadian dollars.
Thank goodness for the Vision Zero Vancouver twitter parents of school aged children, who with Jade Buchanan “fixed” the troublesome graphic below with innovative wording aimed at vehicle drivers who are the cause of crashes into children.
As one parent stated on Twitter:
And here is the version of the graphic with the text “amended” by parents to put the onus of responsibility for safe driving on the driver. Where it should be.
Kudos to the school kids’ parents that stepped up to correct this error. You can keep track of Transportation BC’s website to see if they too will move into the 21st century in terms of road safety for children, emphasizing driver behaviour.