'I can't take it anymore!' 4-year-old boy and mom pen letters after cars speed past school buses
LONDON, ONT. -- A four-year-old boy is making an impassioned plea for help to London’s leaders, raising concerns about school bus safety.
Julian Mingo’s handwritten letter asks police, politicians and others to help curb speeding on Colonel Talbot Road through London's Lambeth neighbourhood.
“I don’t like people going past my school bus,” he says.
His concerns are not unfounded. His mother, Tara Mingo, says she has caught drivers going past his bus far too often.
And as it turns, on Wednesday morning, so did a CTV News camera.
As Julian boarded his bus, a northbound car on the inside lane passed his bus, not long after the red lights flashed.
An exasperated Tara was emotional moments afterwards, “I can’t take it anymore.”
Neither can Julian.
Four-year-old Julian Mingo and his mother Tara Mingo in London, Ont. on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (Sean Irvine / CTV News)
So, son and mother spent this past Saturday writing letters to police, politicians and school officials. Julian put his thoughts in his own words, written in different-coloured markers on paper.
In the letter, Julian expresses speeding is a problem, especially in the 50 km/h zone in front of his home.
He then writes about his fears when boarding his school bus.
“I also don’t like (vehicles) speeding past my school bus. It’s dangerous and my bus driver gets mad and honks every day.”
So, what can be done?
As Londoners who travel Colonel Talbot Road daily know, it is a major arterial road running northbound into the city and to two major highways southbound.
As a result, traffic-calming measures like speed bumps and islands are not an option.
Still, Ward 9 Councillor Anna Hopkins acknowledges something must be done.
"As you can see, traffic is going pretty fast and that is a concern.”
City Councillor Anna Hopkins speaks in London, Ont. Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (Sean Irvine / CTV News)
Hopkins says awareness and a speed study are the first steps she’d like considered. She'd also like to change the way speed signs are displayed.
“Maybe there’s a better way of putting the speed limit out there, the signage.”
Tara is supportive, but she would also like traffic cameras on school buses and more police patrols.
In a statement, London police told CTV News they're aware of the issue, "We received Julian’s letter, and we want to let him, and other community members know, that speed is a concern for us too."
In fact, since the beginning of 2021, 23 tickets and four warnings have been issued in the area of Julian's bus stop.
Still, Julian has a more drastic idea, “Put a gate down; put a gate on the road!”
That may be a far-fetched plan, but perhaps not when what is at stake is considered.
"It takes one person reaching for their coffee, one person eyes on the road, and my son is gone," Tara says with sadness.
Julian says the first step is simple.
“If they don’t know what to do, they should just stop.”
Wise words from a four-year-old to the 'grown-ups' in charge.