Thomas Wedman’s school bus death prompts new safety recommendations

St. Albert city council is hoping to implement some of recommendations from a report written after a second-grader was struck and killed by a school bus in September 2013.

Thomas Wedman, 6, died after the bus struck him in the crosswalk at Winston Churchill Avenue and Woodlands Road. His father says the child stepped onto the road because the bus looked like it was going to stop.

In the wake of the death, St. Albert city council ordered a review of all 25 school zones in the city. The 864-page report contains hundreds of recommendations.

“It’s everything from signage, to encouraging people to cycle and walk to school to really more complex engineering solutions,” Coun. Tim Osbourne said.

The city spent more than $200,000 on the report, which includes input from public consultations, open houses and online questionnaires.

Despite all the research, Coun. Sheena Hughes thinks one recommendation is missing: she wants children who live close to school to have better access to school buses. 

Although students can walk, many parents end up driving them, which ends up increasing traffic in front of schools, she said. 

“In the winter months or when it’s slippery, it would be very difficult for those children to actually be able to walk safely and so parents are more inclined to drive their children.” 

City council will spend the next few months reviewing the report with the aim of completing an implementation plan by June 1.



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