A faulty crosswalk light activation switch was repaired after a 10-year-old boy collided with a car while riding his bicycle in a crosswalk and was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for a sore knee.
The accident happened at about 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 14.
According to Nanaimo RCMP, witnesses said the boy was riding his bike on Metral Drive and started to cross the street near Dunbar Road. He was at a marked crosswalk, but had not pressed the button to activate the crosswalk lights.
Police said a northbound vehicle on Metral Drive had stopped, but the driver of a southbound car, whose view of the boy was blocked by another car, passed through the crosswalk and the boy rode into the side of the car.
Police said the accident could have been more serious had the driver not already slowed to 30 kilometres per hour for the school zone in which the crosswalk is located.
However, Claire Davis, the boy’s grandmother said that her grandson pushed the crosswalk lights activation switch, but it didn’t work.
“So he looked at the driver and the driver motioned for him to go, so he went,” Davis said. “So we went down after, that day, and checked the button ourselves and took a video of it and the light clearly didn’t come on.”
The family spoke to the City of Nanaimo’s engineering department, which checked the lights and ordered them repaired.
Charlotte Davis, city manager for sanitation, recycling and public works administration, confirmed Monday that an electrical subcontractor was sent out to repair the switch, but the contractor reported that the switch that was faulty was on the opposite side of the road the boy had crossed from.
“There was one side that was not working and that is the side opposite the side the child passed from, so the side he travelled from was actually working,” Davis said.
Davis said the repair was ordered immediately even though “… it was an out-of-hours type of work.”
“One thing we want people to be aware of is that these crossings are just warning lights,” Davis said. “Pedestrians completely do have the right of way, but there’s no real protection given to them so people should just be aware to proceed as soon as it’s safe to do so,” Davis said.
Nanaimo RCMP is reminding drivers to slow down in school zones and for cyclists to activate crosswalk light where they’re provided and to walk bikes across crosswalks.