Margaret Manson Elementary students unveil findings on traffic study
Grade 4 and 5 students from Margaret Manson Elementary School in Kirkland, in Montreal’s West Island, have presented their findings on road safety to principal Stephanie Hérault.
“It’s authentic learning, it’s empowering the students,” Hérault told Global News.
“Anything you can do to get the students to do something they’re motivated by, it’s learning at its best.”
Last month, 10 students were made part of a safety committee to observe how drivers and pedestrians interact in and around the school.
They were out every morning for two weeks observing how many people committed traffic violations.
Margaret Manson Elementary’s traffic committee meets with principal Stephanie Hérault to present their findings.Margaret Manson Elementary/Facebook
“The biggest concerns are two areas, the kiss-and-run and the crosswalk,” Hérault explained.
“At the crosswalk, we have kids trying to cross the street and cars waiting to go through, so there’s a stand-off.”
A few of the measures the students suggested included:
- children keeping their backpacks on their laps instead of in the trunk
- children getting out of the car on the same side to avoid having to cross traffic
- parents not getting out of the cars at the kiss-and-run
“We noticed that a lot of parents park where they’re not supposed to,” noted Grade 4 student Marco Masuri while he monitored the traffic in the area.
WATCH BELOW: Students monitor traffic in front of Kirkland school
One spot the students monitored closely was the drop-off zone for parents, which is right next to the bus stops.
“Part of the issue is people back out of the parking lot, while some try to leave the kiss-and-run, so it creates congestion,” Hérault noted.
“One of the suggestions from one of the little guys is, ‘Why don’t we change the flow of the kiss-and-run to avoid cross traffic?'”
With the committee planning to reconvene in the fall, the school is planning another blitz to analyze if the changes are being implemented.
Students at Margaret Manson monitor traffic around school to improve safety.Phil Carpenter/Global News
“We believe if we can fix the kiss-and-run, the majority of our problems will be over,” said Hérault.
“The hope is we’re going to have volunteers from home and school — parents, as well as teachers and students.”
The school hopes to involve Kirkland officials and local police in its road safety initiatives.