Letters to the Editor

Our children's safety must be priority

Monday, November 04, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The recent horrific events that led to the demise of a seven-year-old at Clan Clarthy Primary School has caused a maelstrom of comments, criticisms, and suggestions that hopefully will not be another nine-day wonder, as we have become so accustomed to.

Instead of these knee-jerk reactions to incidents we need to implement actions that indicate we care for our children all the time.

In some countries, schools zones are implemented through law and require a certain type of behaviour around them. These zones require reduced speed limits, minimum exposure of children to dangerous situations, and are places in which the unpredictability of children's behaviour is anticipated and respected.

Many situations are being played out across the country continuously that indicate a disregard to the safety of our children, and the lonely voices of people like Betty-Ann Blaine and a few others cry out, sometimes in vain.

Charitable organisations such as Kiwanis which have been serving the children of the world, and its guiding principles try to address it, and where it cannot it highlights their plight, especially as relates to safety.

One such safety-related concern exists in the Cassava Piece area of St Andrew where schoolchildren are exposed daily to what constitutes a disaster in waiting. The area is bereft of adequate sidewalks to enable safe passage to the many children, including infants, attending the several schools in the surrounding area. Oftentimes you experience these children pasted up against the walls, competing with a steady stream of two-way traffic and it becomes particularly harrowing when larger vehicles are involved. This issue was first broached with then Mayor of Kingston Desmond McKenzie when it was suggested the road be turned into a 'one way', thus facilitating the construction of proper sidewalks. The only part of that submission taken up years after was the prohibition of vehicles exceeding a certain tonnage.

I would urge the authorities to reconsider the original suggestion and grab the opportunity with all the construction taking place around the area now to put in proper sidewalks that will enhance the safety of our children in their pursuit of an education.

How do we build a nation if our children and their safety are not primary considerations?

Ralston Nunes

ralstonnunes@gmail.com


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