In Kitchener, the region’s most dangerous roundabout is located near a high school where kids are trying to get to school at the same time every day, resulting in what could be a downright disaster zone.
The Waterloo Catholic District School Board replaced the traffic lights with roundabouts to make the area safer, but it continues to be a problem in the area. As it turns out, the traffic lights near the school are a hazard as well, and allow cars to enter the roundabout zone at 70 km per hour. This creates a dangerous zone for pedestrians crossing the street and oncoming cars rushing into the roundabout to get their kids to school on time.
It is important to understand what kind of safety mechanisms are in place to prevent the vehicles from leaving the roundabout and colliding with students crossing the roadway. Guardrails need to be on the sides of the roundabout to ensure that there is a barrier between pedestrians and vehicles. Guardrails must be following up to date MASH standards instead of the outdated NCHRP-350 regulations created for guardrails in 1993.
Collisions in the Kitchener region are at a 20 year low with only 16 per day and only six people were killed on regional roads last year. On the other hand, pedestrian collisions have gone up in recent years with 126 accidents involving them last year. It is important that there are barriers preventing vehicles from contacting people walking on the sides of regional roads and updated guardrails are the best way to ensure people’s safety.
Ensuring the safety of students walking or driving to school is imperative to make sure that people are safe when trying to commute at the same time. A roundabout and safe traffic lights are good first steps to making roadways safe, and guardrails would provide an additional safety mechanism to help communities looking to protect their youth. Let’s keep our kids safe and have guardrails where we need them!