Two Shelby students hit by vehicle
Jennifer Linn - Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SHELBY — Two Shelby students, a brother and sister who attend Thomas Read Elementary, were run over by a vehicle on their way to school this morning and the extent of their injuries are unknown.
The accident occurred at 7:14 a.m. today and involved a 10-year-old Shelby girl and 5-year-old Shelby boy, according to the Michigan State Police, Hart post.

According to police, the girl and boy were walking to an early morning school program when they “ran out in front of a jeep,” driven by a 50-year-old Shelby man, were hit, run over and trapped under the vehicle.

The children were later extricated from underneath the vehicle.

Police say the girl will probably be treated at a local hospital, while the boy may be sent to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. Police were unsure this morning if injuries to either child were life threatening. Shelby Superintendent Dana McGrew said the children are in kindergarten and fifth grade.

This morning, McGrew said, the district would be getting the word out to students and staff. Counseling services will be available for children and families, he said.

McGrew said this is the first time in the eight years he has been superintendent that such an accident occurred.

He cautioned students to be careful when crossing roads, especially on their way to school when it’s darker.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SHELBY — A 5-year-old boy, who was hit by a vehicle along with his sister Tuesday morning, has been transferred to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, police say.
According to the Michigan State Police, Hart post, the boy fractured his skull in the accident.

Police say the boy and his 10-year-old sister, students at Thomas Read Elementary, were walking to school Monday when they “ran out in front of a Jeep,” driven by a Lawrence Robert Howland, 50, of Shelby. The children were run over and trapped under the vehicle. They were later extricated from underneath the vehicle.

Police are not releasing the names of the children involved in the accident. They were unsure of the girl’s condition today, but thought she was being treated locally.

No citations are being issued to Howland.



The two articles above were reported in the Daily News about an incident where two children on their way to school were hit by a vehicle.  I boldened some of the articles, which I thought were of interest, or demonstrated my point, which follows.


Shelby may differ, but like Ludington this time of year, most of the townsfolk do not have to shovel their sidewalk, if they even have a sidewalk.  This forces those kids who walk to school to walk in the streets, as the banks and plowed snow makes it virtually impossible to walk anywhere else.  The two children, and all children who walk to school in the dark in the morning, are thus at the mercy of those who drive their vehicles on the same streets these kids walk. 


Traffic is a bit heavy at this time with people going to work and school, and the roadway is often not wide enough for two vehicles and pedestrians to co-exist, and definitely not safely.  Yet I see dangerous vehicular behavior occur all too frequently when these often unpredictable kids are in the roadway.  A lot of distracted driving too.


Yet the deck seems to be stacked against pedestrians.  Take the octogenarian who was struck by a truck while crossing James Street at Foster at about the same time of the day in November.  The senior citizen was at least seven feet into the street, but the driver not only remained anonymous to the public, they were also not given a citation. 


Want more?  Go to the Daily News archives and search under 'pedestrians' to find more pedestrians hit without consequence.  Only when hit-and-runs occur is the motorist charged with anything. 


Is there any laws protecting pedestrians?  Beyond the popularly known 'vehicles yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks', there is Rule 716 of the MI UTC which states "every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian on any roadway, shall give warning by sounding the horn, when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person on a roadway.  A person who violates this rule is responsible for a civil infraction."


Was Mr. Howland or the driver who hit the eighty-something lady exercising proper precaution?  I don't think so.  I definitely know there are kids walking to and from school, and elsewhere, on the streets of our towns and too many motorists too involved with too many things and in too much of a hurry, to offer proper precautions to our most valuable resource. 


A troubling question one needs to ask is why do our public safety officers, newspapers, and society at large, always put the blame away from those carelessly handling the implement that has damaged our precious treasure.  The warning and blame is always given to the pedestrian, but not the motorist who caused the injury.  Please, drive safely around pedestrians, anticipate any child to dart in front of you, and encourage others to do the same, particularly this time of year when they are forced to use the road.






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How can kids run out into the road when they're already in the road?
Good food for thought, X, and I was hungry.
Ok I'll bite, pretty tasty stuff. Here's my question: I have visited other towns, both in and out of state, and almost ALL the SCHOOL areas have big signs and big traffic signals, at about a 1/2 to 1 mile radius, with flashers, that restrict traffic to 15 mph speeds. These signals are flashing most brightly and effectively about an hour before classes start in the morning, and when classes let out about 3pm in the afternoon. The police are posted conspicuously and in numbers depending on the volume of pedestrians. Now, I haven't seen this at our local jr & sr. high schools as of yet. WHY? Isn't it long past due? Some citizens should spearhead this for immediate action imho. It's standard operating procedure almost everywhere else, and it works. The traffic does slow to 15 mph, or they get very expensive tickets, something like $300 I heard. JMO
Those 15 mph signs were near every school in the area of PA that I came from... within 1/2 mile radius of the school & they were on timers that set them flashing 1 hour before till 1/2 hr after school started, during the lunch/recess periods, and 1/2 hr before till 1 hr after school let out. And yes, the system works good, especially since all crossing-guards & bus drivers reported any violations that the cops didn't catch.

The downside: any cop in a bad mood would ticket drivers on days when school was not in session as well.... their reasoning: the sign says "15 mph when lights are flashing"... not "when school is in session". The school could have burned to the ground to nothing but a vacant lot, but if those lights were flashing, the limit is 15--period. Many people got ticketed under that ruling.

One of the other things that helped tremendously with cutting down on accidents with young school children is that the town was set up in "sections" (similar to the housing developments here, but larger), and all of the grade schools (6th grade & below) were within the sections, which had a speed limit of 25mph. The only time children came to a road that was a faster speed limit was if they had to cross a main road between sections to get to the one where the school was (only 1 out of 3 sections had a school in it), but that's where the crossing guards came in. Children were only permitted to cross at the crossing guard's area, which cut down any amount of time that they had to walk on a road that was faster than 25mph.
Quite right redstorm, I forgot about grade schools, and you caught it properly, crossing guards, I used to be one several years, at Lakeview, were there for the young kids safety too. As should be, to be witness to and serve for safety in crossing streets and walking in order too. How come Lud. is way behind on this 15 mph zone yet? If I hear the word Money, I'm gonna just cry BS too.
Some peeps need to ask de imperial high "school board", where's the SIGNALS for safety, to prevent kids from getting hurt? The LPD should have spearheaded this issue years ago, imho.
I've seen some of these school zones to the south, and the flashing lights and reduced speeds are followed pretty good when they are flashing at the beginning and end of the day. Let's put some of these around our schools instead of some useless stop signs.
It has not been intended but three of the most recent threads I put up (this one, the one about landlords and RSOs, and The Lawbreakers, Episode 3) all have something to do with school/student safety zones. Even the thread about a 4-way stop had this as a backdrop. I must have latched onto a theme.


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