Pedestrian safety: a mother launches a petition to avoid more deaths
On March 1, 2018, 11-year-old Anaïs Renaud was fatally struck by an SUV while she was driving along Principale Street, in Saint-Flavien, to go to school. (File photo)
The mother of young Anaïs Renaud, fatally caught on her way to school on foot, is launching a petition demanding that the Ministry of Transport (MTQ) acts to secure the roads used by children to get to school.
The petition was launched five years to the day after the tragedy that occurred in Saint-Flavien, in the Lotbinière region. Anaïs Renaud, 11, was walking to La Caravelle school on March 1, 2018, when she was hit in the head by the mirror of a GMC Terrain vehicle.
Main Street in Saint-Flavien, in summer (File photo)
She only had to travel 600 meters between the family residence and the school. At the time of the accident, she was walking along Principale Street, an area with no sidewalk.
It is unacceptable for children to die on the way to school in Quebec. We know how to avoid these deaths and it is high time to give ourselves the means to do so. It seems clear that it takes leadership in Quebec for things to change, says Anaïs' mother, Jacinthe Latulippe.
In February 2020, coroner Géhane Kamel had recommended to the municipality de Saint-Flavien to reinstall permanent sidewalks on Principale Street, in order to avoid another accident.
The artery was lined with a sidewalk until 2002. Saint-Flavien removed it to get a wider shoulder and build a bike path.
In 2002, the municipality of Saint-Flavien removed the existing sidewalk to widen the shoulder of rue Principale and build a bike path there. (File photo)
In the fall of 2021, the municipal administration asked the citizens of Saint-Flavien to comment on the construction of a sidewalk, as recommended. The project, valued at $1.2 million, was rejected in a referendum.
The Municipality expected to have to borrow $1,191,000 to carry out this work. According to the administration's estimates, repaying this amount would have cost $88 per year per property, for 25 years.
The petition was launched in collaboration with the organizations Piétons Québec and Accès sustainable transport.
The government must take responsibility for the numbered roads it owns inside the urban perimeters and take responsibility for the addition and maintenance of sidewalks. A main street without a sidewalk in a village in Quebec should no longer exist! launches the Executive Director of Accès transports viables, Marie-Soleil Gagné.
The MTQ asserts that since the accident which cost the life at Anaïs Renaud in 2018, several measures were taken to improve safety, particularly near the Caravelle school, which Anaïs Renaud attended. (File photo)
Rue Principale de Saint-Flavien, also known as Route 271, is under provincial jurisdiction. Due to the Roads Act, the construction and maintenance of sidewalks is the responsibility of municipalities.
There is an urgent need for the government to implement a government road safety strategy , based on the vision zero serious or fatal collision approach, which makes it possible to prioritize the safety of pedestrians in the development of our streets and roads in urbanized areas, adds the director general of Piétons Québec, Sandrine Cabana-Degani.
A pedestrian crosses the street at the intersection where Mariia Legenkovska was fatally hit on the December 13, 2022. Flowers were laid curbside by passers-by. (File photo)
The instigators of the petition also point out that the death of little Anaïs is not an isolated case. In Montreal last December, 7-year-old Mariia Legenkovska lost her life after being hit by a vehicle while walking to school.
In addition to launching the petition, Anaïs's mother, Jacinthe Latulippe, invites parents in the province to participate in the next national mobilization on March 15 to put an end to road safety on the school route.
A demonstration should also take place in St-Flavien.
I invite everyone to show up on March 15 in front of their neighborhood school for the protection of the most vulnerable users of our roads and thus prevent other families from experiencing such a tragedy, mentions Jacinthe Latulippe.