To the editor:
First and foremost, the District has in no way, whatsoever, “banned street hockey in 100 Mile House”.
The incident in question was, pure and simple, an issue of concern for the well-being of young children playing in the middle of a public thoroughfare, without any apparent adult supervision.
A District employee identified the risk and took appropriate action to mitigate that risk. We would expect nothing less of our employees.
To wit – the children were playing street hockey in the middle of Evergreen Crescent- heads down, enjoying a spirited game of street hockey, oblivious to the traffic moving around them. As witnessed; the children did not stop what they were doing to allow traffic to pass – they were having fun. Traffic in this area, and many areas of the District, does not always travel at the posted speeds and as witnessed by our employee it created a clear and present danger to the children. His action was to suggest to the kids “maybe you should play in your driveway” – a five-second interaction, and in my opinion was the correct response to what he witnessed, in this instance.
How that concern for the children’s safety is construed as a ban on street hockey in the District is beyond reason.
To my knowledge, no parent or local resident sought clarification as to what occurred on that particular day.
To be clear, there was a call to the District office, fielded by our frontend staff, enquiring if there was a by-law that prohibited street hockey. Although not directly identifying “street hockey” there is a provision in the District 2010 traffic bylaw that states, in part – “… no person shall: engage in any sport, amusement, exercise, or occupation on the traveled portion of any highway or unnecessarily delay the passage of vehicles… “
However, in all my years with the District that section of the traffic bylaw has never been used to restrict or impede kids playing street hockey. Nor was the bylaw relied upon by our employee to mitigate the safety concerns for the children on that particular day.
The District agrees that street hockey is a “right of passage” in our culture. More importantly, the District is fully supportive of our children being outside, being active and having fun.
It’s important for parents to educate their children, to be aware of the dangers when playing on or near public roadways. To be courteous and stop what you’re doing and let traffic pass. That is all that is expected. This common sense interaction between the children and local traffic was not witnessed on the day in question. I applaud our employee’s action and concern for the children’s safety.
So, let’s hear the iconic “Car- Car” and move aside, be safe, be aware and play-on kids.
Mayor and Council
District of 100 Mile House