A five-year-old girl was rushed to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after she was struck by a car Friday.
The accident happened at about 8:30 a.m. on Wakesiah Avenue between First and Second streets.
The girl was walking to school with her mother and her younger sibling when she suddenly ran onto the road.
“Suddenly the kid just bolts from her mom,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “Her mom tries to grab her and she just ran right into traffic.”
The child was struck by the front bumper of a Dodge Caliber, driven by a 27-year-old woman, and thrown about eight metres by the impact.
The girl suffered a broken pelvis and other possible internal injuries, police said.
Neither speed or alcohol were factors in the accident and no charges are pending against the driver. Victim Services are tending to the mother and the driver.
O’Brien said there is a church property near where the accident occurred that children will often cut through as a shortcut to get to their school.
Police closed Wakesiah temporarily while they conducted their investigation into the incident.
“It’s a tragic accident that was probably unavoidable,” O’Brien said.
Not all accidents can be avoided, but Nanaimo RCMP’s Municipal Traffic Section has stepped up enforcement in school zones with the start of the new school year.
Cpl. Norm Smith, head of municipal traffic, said speed enforcement in school zones is being delivered with a two prong approach of education and penalties.
Speed Watch volunteers are manning school zones with speed boards displaying drivers’ speeds.
“People who are travelling in excess of the speed limit will be receiving letters in the mail warning that they were caught speeding,” Smith said.
Police are also positioning at zones and handing out tickets to violators. On Wednesday police issued more than 20 speeding tickets.
“One person on Jingle Pot Road lost their car for seven days for excessive speeding in a school zone,” Smith said. “They were travelling 77 in a 30 zone. We are out in force. We value our children, so we want to make sure people slow down in school zones.”
A 30 km/h speed limit is in effect in school zones Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on days when classes are in session.
The fine for driving one to 20 km/h over the speed limit in a school zone is $196. For speeds exceeding 20 km/h the fine climbs to $253.
Excessive speeding is considered any speed higher than 40 km/h above the posted speed limit and carries a range of fines, starting at $368 plus vehicle impoundment for seven days for a first offence. The vehicle owner also pays for all impound and towing fees.