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Lights, Safety, Be Seen ...

Safety School Traffic Safety

Winter in Strathcona County can be dark. A lack of streetlights or sidewalks combined with early school starts mean most rural students meet their morning bus in the dark during much of the winter, making them difficult for motorists to see. The Strathcona County School Traffic Safety Partnership was lucky enough to partner with Shell Canada to purchase pedestrian safety lights for the rural bus students. These safety lights can be easily attached to a backpack and will flash when turned on.

I applied for the grant on behalf of the partnership through Strathcona County, because darkness is one of the biggest risk factors for a pedestrian.
— Debbie Rawson, Traffic Safety Liaison with Strathcona County via The Sherwood Park News

Through the generous donation from Shell Canada, we were able to purchase enough flashing lights for all the rural students.

Anything we can do to help keep our students safer, visibility for other motorists is a key factor, and even visibility for when the bus driver is pulling up to their stop and if they can see the kids even more clearly, it is a benefit.
— Christine Hogan, Safety & Compliance Officer with Elk Island Public Schools via The Sherwood Park News

While the flashing lights were to bring awareness and attention to our rural students, we can all play a part in pedestrian safety, whether in a rural or urban setting:

  • Look out for one another. Slow down and watch for pedestrians when driving or cycling, particularly in areas where there are no sidewalks or streetlights.
  • Help drivers see you. When walking on the road, always walk against traffic. Wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing when walking in light or poor weather conditions.

The Be Seen program has been a great example of true partnership. Shell Canada provided the funds, Elk Island Public Schools, Elk Island Catholic Schools, New Horizons School and Ecole Claudette-et-Denis-Tardif distributed them to their rural bus students and several of our elected officials Tweeted about it to help raise awareness, as well as, to provide extra thanks to Shell Canada. Messaging and a news release was provided to schools to include in their newsletters and on their websites. The Sherwood Park News published an article on February 3, 2017 and Mix 107 Radio provided coverage on February 7 & 8 as well.