Anglophone East School District’s (AESD) education council has joined the ongoing battle in trying to get the provincial government to lower the speed limit surrounding a school just outside Moncton.
The council, frustrated with the province’s inaction on limiting the speed of vehicles passing the school, hired an expert in the field of traffic reconstruction with the hope his findings will persuade the government to reconsider its position.
Mike Reade, a retired police officer with more than 25 years experience in the field, said the first step is to gather information on the site.
“Then [you] visit the scene in question and gather any site distance that might exist and see whether or not that would play in any possible collision scenarios,” he said.
But hiring Reade is one of many efforts trying to get the government to lower the speed limit from 70 km/h to 50.
Karen DeGrasse daughter attends Magnetic Hill and knows first hand just how dangerous the road in front of the school can be.
“I’ve often had to be stopped on that road and I’m pumping my brakes so that drivers behind me don’t ram into the back of me. Sometimes I do that and they pass me on the right hand shoulders anyways,” DeGrasse said
That prompted her to join the battle by starting a petition which now has more than 700 signatures.
Magnetic Hill principal Nick Smith has taken a different route in lobbying the province for years to address the speed limit change.
Last winter, he and parents even got a sign made telling drivers to slow down as they approach the school area.
“We do have a responsibility to get the children to the school safely,” Smith said.
This summer, Smith met with Transportation Minister Bill Fraser, but the meeting did not have the outcome he was hoping for.
“He said, based on the guidelines for how speed limits are established, that we did not fall outside any of the criteria for the speed limit,” he said.
AESD vice-chairwoman Angela Lawson said changing the speed is needed for safety.
“Maybe it isn’t reasonable to drop the speed limit to 30 kilometres like it is in the city, but I don’t believe 70 kilometres or a posted speed limit of 70, knowing people are going significantly more than that, is safe for our children,” Lawson said.
The plan is to have the report finished before the beginning of the next school year.