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Saskatoon police urge caution following close calls between children on bikes and vehicles

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Three separate incidents involving vehicles and children on bikes in as many months has underscored a need for greater caution on the road — even in the suburbs.

Last week, the Saskatoon Police Service reported a collision between a vehicle and a cyclist at a crosswalk along Stensrud Road in the Willowgrove neighbourhood.

Residents say it’s a hotspot for potential collisions.

“Definitely see a lot of speeding happening here,” said Bethann Weber, a Willowgrove resident walking with her newborn.

“And then just kids, teenagers not paying attention to crosswalks. It’s definitely a busy area.”

The Saskatoon Public School Division (SPSD) confirms it was a student at Willowgrove School that was involved in the most recent incident. The student was checked by medical professionals and sustained no injuries.

But along the same road in April, two more incidents happened around school hours.

Police say a vehicle and a 12-year-old cyclist collided on April 8.

An investigation determined the cyclist entered the road and struck the vehicle that had already stopped. The 12-year-old was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

A day later, a 9-year old on a bike fell into a vehicle that was stopped at a stop sign. No injuries were reported.

According to the Saskatoon Public School Division, the incidents were communicated to parents who were asked to review safety tips with children.

“As well, Grade 3 students take a Learn to Ride Safe Bike program every year,” reads an email from SPSD. “The Willowgrove / University Heights Community Association did share that they’ve inquired with the City about initiating another community traffic study.”

Deputy Chief Dave Hay says there’s a dedicated traffic unit within the Saskatoon Police Service to investigate complaints as well as general patrolling. They can make recommendations to the city on specific locations.

“If there’s a structural issue, like a design issue, we can make recommendations to the city for them to do research on it, determine if it’s safe,” said Haye.

“If it was just human behaviour, we will address that through enforcement.”

Weber says it’s a good time to remind both drivers and pedestrians to be extra vigilant around crosswalks and roads.

“Look out for those kiddos, and for us moms walking, just take a look around those corners and trees.” 

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