Minister for Health and Human Services Anthony Eden addressed a concerned group of parents Monday night at Savannah Primary School about the safety of children crossing Shamrock Road before and after school.
Parents and school officials want the speed limit by the school reduced. At the section of Shamrock Road where the school is located, the speed limit is 30 mph.
Though there is a crosswalk by the school, often cars do not stop when there are children walking across the road, explained Katherine Briggs, whose 8-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter attend the primary school. They are driven to school in the morning and walk home with an adult in the afternoon.
.Speaking at a National Parenting Programme presentation on family safety, Mr. Eden stressed the importance of keeping children safe.
‘I can see we do not want to wait until an accident happens. Our children are too precious. There is no greater investment that we can have than the time we spend with our children,’ Mr. Eden said.
The minister was asked how long it would take to pass a bill into law that would reduce the speed limit. He estimated the process would take a couple of months.
‘But, for something like this, there is no reason it can’t be expedited,’ he said.
Mrs. Briggs explained that cars are not yielding to children in the crosswalk.
‘There is a major problem with the crosswalk in front of the primary school and the one by the Bodden Town Primary School. We need this to be addressed prior to an accident happening,’ she said.
Often, the cars do not slow down when they near the school, Mrs. Briggs added.
‘They have to make it more visibly apparent that you are entering a school zone during the designated hours before and after school,’ she said.
Lorna Blackman, principal of Savannah Primary School, would like police assistance at those times as well.
‘I am asking, begging, pleading to have a police presence at the gates in the morning and afternoon. Some students are walking to school and using crosswalks, and cars are not stopping.
‘I think if we have a police officer from 2.45pm to 3.15pm then we could have a smooth flow of traffic coming in and out,’ she said.
In addition, Mrs. Blackman would like the speed limit by the school drastically reduced.
‘Within the school zone, the speed limit should be 15 mph. That’s my recommendation,’ she said.