ALAMEDA (KPIX 5) — The school year is off to dangerous start for students in Alameda with an alarming number of children getting hit by cars while walking to and from school.

Even before the early darkness of Daylight Saving Time hit this past weekend, the streets of Alameda had a big city a problem. A stunning number of cars hitting pedestrians — all of them children.

There have been seven children hit on the island’s streets since the beginning of September.

”Change is needed and it’s needed really fast,” Alameda’s Vice Mayor John Knox White told KPIX 5. He says the city needs to adopt at Vision Zero policy similar to the one in place in San Francisco, but that drivers also need to take ownership of the problem.

“Slow down, stay alert and realize that you have a special responsibility when you’re driving a 2,000 pound vehicle, your actions have a greater impact on what’s happening out there,” said White.

The crashes have happened at busy intersections — like High Street and Fernside Boulevard — and at quiet ones near elementary schools.

“I think they parents in the neighborhood, you can tell when they’re driving through the stop signs here because they’re very slow, very cautious. They look at all the kids in the eye and they wait until the last,” said mom Angela Tamblin of Alameda.

The City of Alameda is looking to make engineering changes to roads and increase enforcement on drivers. The PTA at Love Elementary school would like school zone speed limits lowered to 15 miles per hour.

In the meantime, concerned Alameda parents like Tamblin have a singular plea: “Act like your kids are walking to school around you, right?”

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