How Safe Is My Crosswalk? Wins Silver Prize at Regional Science Fair

Jack McLean, primary school student at Lax Kxeen Elementary school in Prince Rupert, won a Silver Prize at the 2019 Pacific Northwest Regional Science Fair for his study, How Safe Is My Crosswalk?

(See below for details of his experiment.)

Jack said he and his mother came up with the idea together after they noticed how dangerous if felt crossing 5th Avenue near their home. Jack told CS4PR that not many cars would stop for him at the crosswalk when he would walk to a friend’s house across the street. He said one day a police car did not even stop. Jack said he feels “a little scared because they [cars] go really fast.” Jack described how he looks both ways before crossing the street and makes sure drivers see him waving his hand. When asked for his opinion of what might make it easier for people to cross the street, he said, “I’m not sure. Maybe put up reflectors or street lights?” Jack also mentioned having a bicycle, but that he does not like to ride it on the streets. “I just bike at the curling rink.”

Happily, Jack mentioned learning a lot from this project and said he has a new interest in how people move around Prince Rupert.

We hope that one day Jack, and other children like him, will be able to walk or ride their bikes around Prince Rupert in safety and comfort.

How safe is my crosswalk?


  1. Most vehicles will not stop

  2. Vehicles with more people in them are more likely to stop than vehicles with one person because more people can point out the crosswalk

  3. Cars are more likely to stop than other vehicles because they are smaller

  4. Vehicles are more likely to stop in the rain because in the sun it is hard to see

  5. People are less likely to stop in the morning and after school time because they are rushing to dance, school and daycare.

One of Jack’s monitoring boards with data


  • Clip board, pen, monitoring sheet, umbrella and mom


  1. Approach the crosswalk

  2. Wait for a vehicle to come

  3. Complete the form

  4. Add up the information

  5. Graph the information

Results (click on image below):


Jack’s data supported his first hypothesis because more vehicles drove through the crosswalk without stopping and waiting for him to cross the street compared to vehicles that did stop. However, the data did not support Jack’s second hypothesis because single-occupant vehicles stopped more often than vehicles containing passengers. The data supported Jack’s third hypothesis, that cars, compared to other types of vehicles, would be more likely to stop for a pedestrian at a crosswalk. 29 cars stopped compared to 18 other vehicles. The fourth hypothesis was not supported because Jack’s data showed that more people stopped at his crosswalk on clear days compared to rainy days. Finally, the hypothesis that people would be too busy to stop for a pedestrian at a crosswalk in the morning or at 3:00 in the afternoon was not supported. More people stopped for Jack during the day compared to at 7:00 in the evening.


Jack believes that his crosswalk is dangerous to cross at night. Therefore, Jack recommends that the City of Prince Rupert add extra street lights or reflectors to make his crosswalk safer for him and others.

Great work, Jack!