Sep 04, 2013
By Jane Brown
The death of a grade 10 student on the first day of school is renewing debate on whether large trucks should be allowed in school zones during the morning and afternoon rush periods. Violet Liang would’ve turned 15 today. The C.W. Jefferys Collegiate student was killed just before 8 o’clock yesterday morning near Keele and Finch when she was hit by a truck.
In March, a five year old girl was struck and killed by a city garbage truck as she walked home from school in Scarborough. Councillor Gary Crawford represents that area of Toronto and understands there are challenges in implementing a no truck rule for school zones, “but ultimately do I think those kind of large trucks should be allowed in schools zones? No I don’t. The issue that staff told me was scheduling can be very complicated. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be doing it, because safety trumps everything.” Crawford is waiting on a staff review of city equipment and routing, which was ordered after the death of the girl in the spring. Toronto District School Board chair Chris Bolton says he wants to explore options to prevent similar accidents.
In the meantime, OPP Sergeant Dave Woodford told the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back, “people have to be responsible and they’ve got to slow down and respect what’s happening around them when they’re driving. And they don’t and that’s the unfortunate thing. And that’s why we have to have laws in place for school buses and everything else.” Sgt. Woodford says fines are doubled in school zones but he says people sometimes just don’t get the message.