May 18th, 2024

Police urge motorists to slow their roll

By Lethbridge Herald on April 11, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Chris DiPasquale, founder of #SlowYourRoll shakes hands with LPS Sgt. Danny Lomness with the traffic response unit, after talking to media about their partnership Thursday across from the Henderson Lake playground. Thursday across from the Henderson Lake playground.

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

The Lethbridge Police Services has partnered with #SlowYourRoll to remind motorists about the importance of slowing down and being alert of children playing. 

#SlowYourRoll was founded by Chris DiPasquale in 2020 to get drivers to slow down, drive safely and be aware of children playing following the tragic death of 10-year-old Charles McIntyre, who was struck by a vehicle and killed while crossing in a crosswalk with his father and brother. The driver responsible was convicted of careless driving.

In support of the campaign and to remind drivers to slow down, LPS photo radar operators will display  the “Kids at play” signs when they are monitoring playground zones.

Sgt. Danny Lomness with the Traffic Response Unit said Thursday police were approached by #SlowYourRoll wondering if they would partner up with them to bring awareness to drivers to slow down. 

“I think we will see success. We’re bringing awareness to the community together which will spread the word a little bit more and our ultimate goal here is to ensure our roadways are safe and the roadway users are safe,” said Lomness.   

He said they are also bringing awareness to drivers to stay alert and pay attention to their surroundings especially with the nice weather starting to emerge. 

“You’re going to see more kids and more pedestrian activities in your playgrounds, in your parks in your grassy areas, so you have to make sure that they are safe as well as all the other roadway users,” said Lomness. 

Chris DiPasquale, founder of #SlowYourRoll also spoke to media Thursday and said it was important for everyone involved in the campaign that this partnership was taking place just days prior to the anniversary of Charles McIntyre’s passing, which happened on Apr. 13, 2020. 

“For all of this to happen this week is really big for us because a year ago we actually help with the city of Lethbridge harmonized the playground zones in school zones and a year later we’re happy to be working with LPS and collaborate on a new project with the continuation of safety in playground zones,” said DiPasquale. 

He said people have come to them and told them they understand what they are trying to do and they want to get involved. 

“To now be involved with more organizations like LPS and for them to even say to us ‘we see what you’re doing and we want to be involved’ that’s a big thing for us and we want to continue that message,” said DiPasquale.

The campaign also raises money for the Charles McIntyre Fund, which supports children through YMCA programs by selling high visibility “Kids at Play” lawn signs, decals and other merchandise and DiPasquale told media the support from the community has been huge. 

“Over the course of the last four years we’ve been able to raise over $50,000 for local charities and organizations and we’re not working with elementary schools, we’ve provided almost 1,000 signs to southern Alberta communities,” said DiPasquale. 

He clarified that even though they have been able to raise money, the campaign’s main objective is to raise awareness about kids safety while playing. 

“We want to stress that this collaboration with LPS is a further step in the right direction to show that this is more about safety than money,” said DiPasquale. 

He said they want to put the lawn signs behind the photo radar trucks to give drivers an extra opportunity to realize that they need to slow down. 

“We want people to be aware, we want to avoid any more tragedies. Let Charles forever be a reminder to people that there are consequences to these sorts of actions and we want to remember him and part of our slow roll initiative is to remind people that Charles is always going to be a part of this,” said DiPasquale.

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