On any given day, hundreds of trucks carrying aggregates, mixed concrete, fuel, scrap metal and various other commodities utilize Russell Street, one of the main access roads within the port of Windsor. These traffic levels are not unusual in a port where various port users share access roadways in order to conduct daily business operations. Russell Street’s location is unique because the access roadway is also shared by General Brock Public School where school buses, parents dropping off their children and pedestrians comingle with business traffic at key times during the day.

Tom Vida, Senior Operations and Security Manager at Southwestern Sales Corporation Limited along with Peter Berry, Port Windsor’s Harbour Master and Director of Operations wanted to create a safe zone along the busy access road to ensure the safety of the children and their parents. They approached Anne Adamson, Principal and Bryan Johnson, Vice Principal of General Brock Public School to work on opportunities to improve safety in the area and to create a program to increase awareness of the school zone with the users of the port.

Southwestern Sales Corporation Ltd Operations Manager Mark Durham stated “it just makes sense”, citing the company’s good neighbour outreach program. “We’ve co-existed with the public at our five locations in this region since 1954 and work hard to maintain a positive community impact now and into the future. It is natural for us to contribute in the community and to partner with Port Windsor.”

As part of the safety program, the company purchased a trailer-mounted vehicle speed monitor. Durham places the trailer at various times of the week near the school zone to remind all drivers to slow down when approaching the school. According to Vida, “The program is supported by notices to drivers and their corporate offices to voluntarily slow down well below the speed limit in that zone. We actively monitor onboard telemetry in company owned vehicles making sure that Southwestern Sales drivers act responsibly”.

“Southwestern Sales has partnered with Port Windsor on several community projects including the installation of the Queens Dock Community Space last year”, says Peter Berry. “They are an active port within the community and never hesitate to help out.” Ongoing safety awareness meetings will be held with the children, parents and port users over the school year.