Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit July 07, 2014 - 11:53 am

Iqaluit car accident sends two young cyclists to hospital

Six-year-old released, four-year-old still getting treatment

Two young girls riding bicycles were taken to hospital July 5 following a motor vehicle accident near Arctic Ventures. (FILE PHOTO)
Two young girls riding bicycles were taken to hospital July 5 following a motor vehicle accident near Arctic Ventures. (FILE PHOTO)

Two young girls were rushed to hospital in Iqaluit July 5 after they were struck by a motor vehicle while riding bicycles on the road by Arctic Ventures Marketplace.

The girls, aged four and six, were riding their bikes on Queen Elizabeth II Way by Arctic Ventures at about 4 p.m. when the accident took place.

The six-year-old was released from care, but the four-year-old remains at Qikiqtani General Hospital. She is being treated for head trauma.

Nunavut RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Yvonne Niego said no charges have been laid yet. But she said a police investigation is continuing.

She also said the girls were not wearing helmets.

Niego urges those who may have witnessed the incident to contact the RCMP detachment at 979-0123 or 979-1111.

This isn’t the first time an accident has occurred close to Arctic Ventures.

Last year, on July 29, four-year-old Tyler Enookie Qaqqasiq was struck and killed by a vehicle near the four-way stop by the 190s block of buildings.

And just a few weeks after that, on Aug. 14, a teenager was hit by a car near Arctic Ventures.

After that, the City of Iqaluit installed speed bumps around the area, and in various locations around town.

Niego said drivers must pay closer attention to high-volume traffic areas in Iqaluit.

City administrators should also improve safety measures in town, she said.

“There’s just so much busyness in certain areas around town that a lot can be done in different ways,” Niego said. “I know that the city has put in the speed bumps, that’s one thing. There could be more attention to other things such as that.”

“Iqaluit has grown so much that you can’t just walk on the roads anymore. Or bike on the roads.

“You really need to separate motor vehicle traffic from bicycle traffic to pedestrian traffic, or even to the taxis, the people parking,” she said.

The area around Arctic Ventures, in particular, is “not ideal,” Niego said.

“So I think it would take the whole community working together to identify better safety measures.”

Niego also urged parents to teach their children about pedestrian bicycle safety in busy areas around town.

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(27) Comments:

#1. Posted by another expert.. on July 07, 2014

eliminate that retarded driveway and make it a taxi standing only , rip down that building they have in the back, the video store i guess it the snack out and make that parking with some kind of access to back of store. too simple eh?

#2. Posted by Confuzzled on July 07, 2014

Poor kids…. hopefully they will be both okay…however, something struck me in this article….

“Iqaluit has grown so much that you can’t just walk on the roads anymore. Or bike on the roads. “

Hmmm…... Perhaps she meant something else here. If not, then maybe road safety should be emphasized and people realize that it is NEVER okay to just arbitrarily walk on a road…..

#3. Posted by Prayers on July 07, 2014

Please pray for the little girl. She has a whole life ahead of her and she needs your prayers and good thoughts to heal and be well again.

#4. Posted by someinuk on July 07, 2014

my aunt was killed near ventures a couple years back! was this a civiallian hitting the kids ? or a town truck or cab ?

#5. Posted by realnortherner on July 07, 2014

When I was a kid, the police and community groups would come to our classes and talk to us to teach us bike and pedestrian safety. They’d give us stickers and coloring books and teach us songs and rhymes to help us to understand and remember that yes, drivers are supposed to always be careful because they can kill or injure people with their cars, but we had the responsibility to do things like look both ways, walk our bikes across the street, be aware of what is around us, things like that.

We were kids, so we needed constant reminders. We were taught to assume that the drivers couldn’t see us, so that we would be safe. Do programs and initiatives like this exist today? If so, perhaps it needs to be stepped up a bit. In a perfect world, drivers wouldn’t make mistakes.

But in a perfect world no one would bolt out in front of a moving vehicle with no time for a driver to react. I’m not saying that’s what happened in this case, btw. It happens more than it should though, and a little bit of constant education would save prevent a lot of accidents and near-accidents.

#6. Posted by tooktwo on July 07, 2014

Taxis should be barred from parking at Arctic Ventures unless they received a call from a client otherwise the way taxis park they block parking space for 3 vehicles.

Kids and most adults dont even look when they intend to cross the road how can a driver know that a person is about to walk across.
Prayers will not help anybody unfortunately.

#7. Posted by george on July 07, 2014

That’s why I don’t shop there cause the parking lot is “blind” to everything.

#8. Posted by drivers should practice on July 07, 2014

I have lived here all of my life, of course towns will grow every year. So the drivers take their baggage with them from where they lived and drove. who knows what happened to their common sense about safe driving before they came up here????  mainly new/impatient taxi drivers that race to get their customers while some are just idling on the side of the building waiting and wasting gas instead of collecting 6 bux to whom they chose or favour. I hope the child will be ok now and while growing up with that head trauma.
Drivers passed a road test and proved the examiner that they are ready to drive on the road, especially here in Nunavut that has dirt roads and ppl/kids crossing roads even without looking, maybe people jaywalk because some drivers drive so slow or don’t even stop for a second for a pedestrian/s.
Parents should also remind their children to practice road safety/bike safety. Two sides to every argument/s.

#9. Posted by iqaluit motorist on July 07, 2014

There are bad drivers in this town but there are also bad pedisterians and cyclist in this town as well.
Patents WATCH YOUR KIDS!!! don’t let them play on the streets.
There was almost another accident outside ventures last year some kid was riding his bike and he suddenly swerved into the road as I was driving by. I managed to avoid him by swerving into the oncoming lane.

#10. Posted by Trapper Don on July 07, 2014

Gee! a little young to be riding on a road. Where was the mother?????

#11. Posted by Regardless on July 07, 2014

Regardless of what type of vehicle it was or whether charges are merited, there are bigger questions here:

1) Were these girls, aged 4 and 6 supervised at the time?

2) Why were they not wearing helmets? (This no doubt has increased the head injuries to the poor little one still in hospital.)

3) Why don’t RCMP/Bylaw put on bicycle rodeos as they do in other regions to help inform children and parents about bicycle and pedestrian safefy?

4) Why is the Co-Op silent yet again after another accident on/near their premises? How many injuries and fatalities must be caused by their terrible parking lot before they look at remedying the situation?

#12. Posted by Concerned parent on July 07, 2014

This is sounding like an terrible accident that could have been a lot worse. But from the looks of these comments a big piece of the picture is being completely overlooked. Why are the parents not being held responsible? Everybody wants to blame the driver, the store and city for being negligent, but were the parents there to protect the children?? Were the parents there to tell their children to “wait until the car is out of the way before biking ahead”? Its appalling to think that everyone else is being villianized except the parents of these two children. The Arctic Ventures parking lot and road in front is a busy location, it’s one of two main stores for Iqaluit. Naturally it’s going to have a lot of traffic. So because of this fact why isn’t it automatically known tha one would have to be more careful moving around such a place? Drivers, the store and the City are responsible for safety, but so are the parents!

#13. Posted by concerned Citizen on July 07, 2014

I had one incident at that stupid parking lot when I had seen a lady walking with her mother and knew that she had 2 children but my gut feeling was to stop from backing up sure enough last child was on trycicle! and the mother minding her own business looking so pretty for anyone else and not even holding her childs trycicle like WOW and shoppers should start parking on the other end of the road and have oneway in and oneway out that simple and have taxi driver and cyclist have the parking lot right in front of Ventures.

#14. Posted by again, really? on July 07, 2014

Always, always, always near that area….

now we are planning on building more around that area… We really have to consider that by building more houses near that area, it will become more congested…..

Kids are being killed and ran over and over again around that area…

We need to consider best options and putting more buildings there is not the solution..

#15. Posted by there you go, u did your part on July 07, 2014

#13 good for you, even people with driver’s license should also think first before….
you remembered that there are careless parents that actually walks with their kids. kids shouldn’t pay for their parents carelessness. a lot of drivers can learn this from you. it takes a community to raise a child, see? someone said that before. Iqaluit is full of snobby, people we know that. sick eh. LMAO.

#16. Posted by What? on July 07, 2014

#15 your comment is stupid. Plain and simple.
Drivers should pay attention to the road. BUT… 4 years old is a little young to be riding a bike on her own. Where were her parents? Why were they not watching their kids? Teach them the rules of the road, and for heaven sakes buy them a helmet! If you can afford to buy a bike, you can fork over an extra $40 for a helmet. Your child’s life is PRICELESS!!!

#17. Posted by Same all across Nunavut! on July 07, 2014

Hope the children heal quickly and hope the parents and others learn from this!
It’s the same all across Nunavut! No matter how big or small the community is kids are always biking where ever they want! They dont care because their parents dont care. People always walking in the middle of the road, crossing without looking, groups of kids taking up the whole road not even caring what is surrounding them. It will never change until their parents take the time to teach them about safety! The parents shouldnt have to rely on others to teach them about safety and if they do their children should be taken from them

#18. Posted by proactive and awareness on July 07, 2014

Big trucks, vans, smaller vehicles side by side on a congested part of that strip of road with pedestrians, summer time and a growing town = problems… The city council and the business owners, public buildings need to look at parking areas for these places that bring in people - Ventures, Northmart, Trigram (blind spot), DJs, Baffin Canners, the new swimming pool location, and the airport area. Another issue is when there are big events at the schools, parish hall, Arenas, etc. there is mayhem at times - the organizers should get volunteers to wear orange vests and ensure parking is safe. Prevention is key. Including public awareness (not just useless brochures please).

#19. Posted by observer on July 07, 2014

wow we all should just be saying i hope they are all fine who are all involved not to bash anyone.We just learn from this,pedistrians,biker’s,driver’s, ect.we all kknow it is not a safe area,why not cut off the road that is going fast down ventures and make it a turn on a longer road coming from happy vally,it will slow down automobiles.also another solution is there should be no parking in front of all stores that exeeds more then 100 people period remember safety first always for everyone.any automobile can very park else where within a distance ,i am sure everyone knows how south parks but if we wanted our way i am sure it is a great topic.each and veryone plays a roll untill proven,be safe you all.

#20. Posted by Intellectual Bum on July 08, 2014

I curse every time I have to go to Ventures because A) to few parking spots; B) the taxis parking behind parked cars are a SAFETY HAZARD because they create blind spots for drivers trying to back out.

Doesn’t the City have a Taxi Committee? Surely it must have some kind of statutory authority to intervene BEFORE the next incident.

#21. Posted by Richard on July 08, 2014

Trapper Don is right. He’s always right.

#22. Posted by Common Sense on July 08, 2014

Come on RCMP—lay a charge of ‘child neglect’ on the parent(s) of these two children.  Where are the parents who are supposed to be supervising their children???

#23. Posted by FEDUP on July 08, 2014

I have lived here my whole life growing up as a child around that area yes you do forget at times the danger of cars and just how easy it is to create an accident.. BUT these are kids, We cannot expect them to give up there child hood because the world around them is forgetting that they are just kids.

A HUGE PROBLEM is the lack of road satefy in children .If you dont think thats the problem go for a drive down by the break water , or up road to no where. Watch the kids walk, play , bike on the roads and not care a single bit when a car comes. These road safety rules need to be set in place because I for one am VERY fed up with hearing these heart breaking stories.

Has the city thought of making a bike lane ? or making one of the silly lots they consist of making more aparments in a bike lot?
Maybe the solution for all of this is if you want the kids off the road and dont care to take the time to teach road skills then make them a park or a spot where they can bike with theyre friends safely.

Just a thought.

#24. Posted by uvanga on July 08, 2014

As a driver, i am extra cautious downtown knowing there are kids that run out into the roads and dont follow the laws of being a pedistrain.
As a parent, my child is not allowed to go down town, there is too much traffic and i dont want her being hurt.
Parents need to tell their children to be extra cautious down town and drivers need to be extra cautious while in high traffic/pedistrain areas.

#25. Posted by IqaluitVisitor on July 08, 2014

Last winter I was walking the parking area to get to Arctic Ventures when a van wiht a bunch of young people zoomed out.  The driver stopped less then 6 inches from me.  He stopped for along time because first I was very angry with his bad driving and second I guess because he was inches from hitting me.

Get rid of the stupid parking area.

#26. Posted by JCraig on July 08, 2014

The design of the town and the road situation is stemmed from the original design of the town where the Planner stated the town would never crest 1800 people or so, then it grew, and grew. The growth of the town on its downtown core has led to numerous problems with vehicle/people interactions. The store is very popular and has a lot of visitors. It is on a core road where multiple users come and go. More attention is needed in providing proper flow of traffic, a drive in and drive out parking area providing separate direction is needed but where as the area is overcrowded and does not provide the space for this… eventually to control the flow safely may have to look at one way road… I hope the kids recover fully. If the furniture shop were moved, the back end could be developed for proper parking, improve access to the store and open it up…

#27. Posted by FormerTownie on July 10, 2014

There are some obvious solutions which many people have already commented on but one important one I can think of is for people to try backing into the parking lot rather than backing out of it.  If you can drive out of the lot it would definitely make it easier to see pedestrians and oncoming traffic.  Cabs should definitely be banned from parking on the lot as they cause unnecessary congestion.

As for the kids, there are obviously issues with road safety and lack of parent supervision.  Time to step this up!

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