Students from Dr. Morris Gibson School are hoping their research on traffic safety around the school will result in changes from motorists.

After traffic concerns were brought up at a school council meeting, Bobbi Hunter, the school's Vice Principal, gathered a group of Grade 4 and 5 students who conducted their own research by keeping a tally of traffic violations at two intersections around the school over the span of two months.

Scott Flintoft, Learning Coach at the school, says students presented their data to Okotoks Town Council which helped to create more of an impact.

"It was really nice to have some student voice to help out with the traffic issues because that's been an issue since the school came around and this is the first time it seems that something's really happened and that's because these kids are here making the traffic known to everybody."

Data collected showed the following:

Week of December 15 - 19:
- 722 vehicles through the intersection of Milligan Dr. and Crystal Ridge Dr. between 8:25 - 8:45.

Week of January 8 - 12:
- 542 vehicles through the intersection of Milligan Dr. and Crystal Ridge Dr. between 8:25 - 8:45.

Week of January 15 - 19:
- 599 vehicles through the intersection of Milligan Dr. and Crystal Ridge Dr. between 8:25 - 8:45.
- 388 vehicles through the intersection of Crystal Ridge Dr. and Crystal Ridge Cres. between 8:25 - 8:45.

Week of January 22 - 26:
- 340 vehicles through the intersection of Milligan Dr. and Crystal Ridge Dr. between 8:25 - 8:45.
- 290 vehicles through the intersection of Crystal Ridge Dr. and Crystal Ridge Cres. between 8:25 - 8:45.

Week of January 29 - February 2:
- 702 vehicles through the intersection of Milligan Dr. and Crystal Ridge Dr. between 8:25 - 8:45.
- 451 vehicles through the intersection of Crystal Ridge Dr. and Crystal Ridge Cres. between 8:25 - 8:45.

61 Total Violations (Rolling stop or distracted driving)

Anjola Afolabi, Grade 5 student, says she witnessed a number of different traffic violations.

"U-turns in a no U-turn zone, rolling stops, and some close, near misses."

Ashlyn Mackay, Grade 5 student, says she feels uneasy about the traffic surrounding their school.

"It kind of makes you feel unsafe now that you know cars don't obey the laws and you need to watch where you're walking."

Flintoft says they're now working with Municipal Enforcement to find resolutions.

"We've been touching base with some of the peace officers and RCMP who patrol this area and they're kind of in the process of checking out and seeing if they can change some of the traffic areas, so there could be something along the lines of a 'park and drop off'," he explains." So that's the next step which is nice to see and we'll see where that goes."

Students are also collaborating with Municipal Enforcement on making a video and podcast about traffic safety.

 

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