Excited students and their families enjoyed a safer return to school at École Oceanside Elementary in Parksville thanks to new road safety measures led by the school’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC).
Last year, the PAC applied for and received a $17,580 grant through the Vision Zero in Road Safety Grant Program to purchase a suite of portable traffic calming measures, including two solar-powered radar feedback signs and crosswalk safety signs.
“Island Health is pleased to be part of the province-wide Vision Zero in Road Safety Grant Program,” said Neil Arason, Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion Lead at Island Health. “École Oceanside Elementary School’s traffic calming project is a great example of how this program is helping to improve safety for some of the most vulnerable road users like children walking and riding their bikes to school. We are so pleased to work with community partners, like the École Oceanside Elementary School PAC, who took the initiative to make this important road safety project a reality.”
“We’re proud to fund École Oceanside Elementary School’s traffic calming project to keep children, families and the community safer. It’s positive to see new, innovative measures like solar-powered radar feedback signs and crosswalk safety signs in the neighbourhood,” said Adam Walker, MLA Parksville-Qualicum.
Originally built as a middle school, École Oceanside wasn’t designed to accommodate primary students and families dropping off their children.
“Our school has approximately 500 families using the roadways and walking paths around the school, and PAC volunteers have spent a number of years advocating for improved road safety in the area,” says Angel Delange, École Oceanside Elementary PAC chair. “After receiving reports of near-misses and situations where, while crossing, a student had to stop abruptly because a driver did not see them in the crosswalk, we were elated when we received the Vision Zero grant. The equipment will help bring awareness to drivers’ speeds around our school and help keep our community of families and learners safe.”
The British Columbia Vision Zero in Road Safety Grant Program is a road safety initiative that provides funding to local governments, Indigenous governments and non-governmental organizations, for projects that improve the safety of roads in their communities. The premise of the program is that road deaths and injuries are unacceptable and preventable. Funding is provided by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and delivered through regional health authorities.
Visit the Vision Zero Challenge web page for more details on this worldwide program: https://visionzerochallenge.org/vision-zero?locale=en
For more information about the grant applicants, visit: https://injuryresearch.bc.ca/vision-zero-grant-program-successful-applicants/
A backgrounder with B.C. health authorities and organizations receiving funding is available online: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Vision_Zero_Backgrounder.pdf