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Mom pleads for pedestrian safety on anniversary of daughter’s death

Four years after the death of her daughter, Tina Chaulk remainsfrustrated provincial and municipal officials are not making pedestriansafety more of a priority.

Four years after the death of her daughter, Tina Chaulk remains frustrated provincial and municipal officials are not making pedestrian safety more of a priority.

“The government still plays the ‘they’re responsible, no they’re responsible’ jumping around business, pass the buck,” Chaulk told Metro yesterday. “It’s extremely frustrating that you have to wait until someone dies or is seriously injured before they push again ... It’s like anything — squeaky wheel gets greased, right?”

Four years ago today, 16-year-old Mary-Beth Chaulk was struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk as she attempted to cross Portland Street in Dartmouth. She was walking home from her job at an auto dealership to get ready for a hockey game later that evening.

She died in hospital the next day.

Today, Chaulk’s mother is continuing to advocate for more education and the installation of “half-lights” — a stoplight that pedestrians can activate — at busier intersections.

“If I could cut through all the red tape ... (crosswalk safety) would be a mandatory part of drivers’ ed,” she said.

“The simplest thing they could do is education.”

Chaulk said she would be happy with something as simple as repainting crosswalk lines erased by winter salt and snowplows.

“If they would go out this summer and repaint every crosswalk, and do some more education, I’d begin to be a little more pleased that they were doing something,” she said. “How expensive is it, just to put in the budget to repaint them?”

But Chaulk is not just calling on the government to do more. She also wants drivers and pedestrians to commute more safely.

“The other thing would be instead of everybody looking to the government to make the change, drive safer, walk safer,” she said. “You can’t wait for them to do everything, there is common sense.”

 
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