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Petition for safe crossing started after child is hit by a car outside Kinloss Primary School

By Garry McCartney

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Becky Black outside Kinloss Primary School on the stretch of road where her son was involved in an accident...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Becky Black outside Kinloss Primary School on the stretch of road where her son was involved in an accident...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

A PETITION has been started calling for safety crossing measures outside a local school after a P5 pupil was hit by a car.

Police and ambulance services were called to Kinloss Primary at 3.05pm on Monday, May 10 after the collision and the child was taken to hospital.

A teacher at the school confirmed a pupil was "hit on the leg and ankle by a moving car", and thanked parents who stopped to help as well as staff who stayed with the pupil until the emergency services arrived.

She added that several children were distressed having witnessed the incident and that the school is working with the community to make the crossing safer.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We were made aware of a child pedestrian who was struck by a car on Burghead Road. The child was taken to Dr Gray's in Elgin for treatment. The vehicle initially stopped at the scene but then left before leaving details. Enquiries into the incident are ongoing."

The child's mother Rebecca Black has started a Change.org petition calling on action to make the crossing safer.

She explained: "I received the phone call no parent wants to receive; to be told my son had been hit by a car travelling too fast along the road outside the school.

"Luckily, due to another mother’s quick reactions pulling my son backwards, he was saved from serious injury."

In March a motorist was being reported to the Procurator Fiscal for speeding after being detected travelling at 51mph outside the school.

Rebecca added: "The volume of children and parents leaving the school onto the small footpath next to the main road with no safe place to cross can cause congestion on the footpath and many children have had close calls.

"This road has a 30mph speed limit and a 20mph limit during busy school times but drivers seldom acknowledge this.

"Moray Council cut back a crucial part of children’s safety along main roads so I and other parents at the school are willing to fight to to help them be re-instated.

"If this is not possible, other safety measures need to be considered such as railings along the path or a pedestrian crossing."

Kinloss Primary School from the B9089 road.
Kinloss Primary School from the B9089 road.

A total of 29 school crossing patrol officers were made redundant as a result of cost-cutting during Moray Council's the 2019/2020 budget. There is also currently no pedestrian/zebra crossing near Kinloss Primary on the B9089 road to Burghead and Forres.

A Moray Council spokesperson said: "Our thoughts are with the family involved in this incident and we wish the child all the best for a speedy recovery.

"We are supporting staff and children from Kinloss Primary School who may have witnessed events unfolding.

"All the details will be reviewed and we will continue to work alongside Police Scotland to identify opportunities to encourage safe crossing and vehicle use around school areas."

Councillor Aaron McLean (Forres, SNP) confirmed the pupil involved in the accident did not sustain serious injuries.

He said: "When this issue was first raised with me, council officers agreed to do a survey of the area to see if it is possible to get a crossing there. This has been carried out and they are analysing the data so I would hope this is presented to councillors shortly and we can see what can be done."

Cllr George Alexander (Forres, Independent) added that council officers have taken action in recent months to survey the behaviour of traffic in the vicinity of Kinloss Primary.

He said: "I see no reason why a more robust traffic calming facility, such as a pedestrian controlled crossing, should not be installed opposite the school.

"It is time we made the priority on our roads safety for pedestrians and cyclists. There are a number of places in the Forres ward where motorists are given all the rights and privileges while pedestrians and cyclists, as well a roadside residents, are left to cope with the consequences."

Another mother of pupils at Kinloss Primary who wishes to remain anonymous told the Gazette she worries about them crossing the road to school.

She said: "The only thing that is on that road is the 20mph flashing signs, which no one seems to adhere to.

"The accident was awful, particularly as the driver did not stop. I'm glad the injuries weren't worse for the poor child, but it's still awful that it happened!

"I would like to see a patrol re-instated, a railing along the road or some form of speed bump or crossing. Anything would be better than what we have."

The petition is available to sign at www.change.org/p/moray-council-improve-safety-measures-for-children-crossing-the-road-at-school

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