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New crosswalk flags installed at three locations in Town of Digby

Special Constable Richard Parry leads members of the Lions Club across the inaugural crossing using the new flags.
Special Constable Richard Parry leads members of the Lions Club across the inaugural crossing using the new flags.

DIGBY, NS - Flags are now installed at three crosswalks in Digby to increase visibility and safety of pedestrians crossing the street.

The flags were installed Apr. 10, and are a pilot project led by Special Constable Richard Parry, who felt Digby’s crosswalks needed a little more attention.

Parry is friends with Norm Collins, crosswalk educator and spearheader of the registered charity Crosswalk Safety Society of Nova Scotia. Collins began educating the masses on crosswalk safety in 2008, and there are now over 100 flagged crosswalks in the Halifax Regional Municipality and over 30 across the rest of Nova Scotia in communities such as Port Williams, Aylesford and now Digby. A full list of locations are listed on Collin’s website.

Each flag station Digby was sponsored by a different organization. There are three new stations, located at the following intersections:

        ·  Water Street and Church Street, sponsored by the King Solomon Lodge #54

        ·  Warwick Street and Montague Row, sponsored by the Digby County ATV Club

        ·  Mount Street and Victoria Street, sponsored by the Digby and Area Lions Club

“One accident is one too many,” says Mayor Ben Cleveland.

“Even a close call is one too many. These flags will literally be lifesavers.”

A car drives by and stops immediately as the sponsoring groups walk on the crosswalk using the flags.

“See?” says Cleveland.

Mayor Ben Cleveland stands at the Digby Lighthouse with members of the King Solomon Lodge #54, Digby County ATV Club and Digby and Area Lions Club.

The flag kits cost $200 apiece, and are always donation-sponsored. The flags are hunter-orange, and are extremely visible even in low-light periods and after dark.

“Digby is very fortunate that its community is so supportive,” says Parry, who was overwhelmed with the support he received when contacting groups in January about the project. He was answered with a resounding “yes.”

“Our entire group has supported this from day one,” says Gerri Oickle, Lions’ secretary.

“If we can save one life, it’s well worth anything we have to pay.”

King Solomon Lodge #54 Senior Deacon Tom Drove says, “This program should have come out a long time ago. It’s high time we have something like this.”

Keith Comeau, President of the Digby County ATV Club, expects huge success from the pilot-project.

“You can never have too much safety. This project is really going to take off,” he says.

Once the pilot period ends, the project will ideally expand to include more crosswalks around Digby. Parry says he will most likely stay involved after he retires at the end of April.

Cleveland says the town is also considering installing lights at crosswalks to increase safety.

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