A citizens' initiative is calling on Quebec parents to demonstrate in front of their local schools Tuesday morning to demand that elected officials take action to improve road safety in school zones.

The promoters of the demonstrations are also demanding a government road safety strategy.

They are calling for safety improvements, including one-way streets, bike lanes and bollards, as well as more police surveillance and tougher penalties for violators.

Nearly a month and a half ago, 7-year-old Mariia Legenkovska, a Ukrainian refugee, was fatally struck by a vehicle while walking to her school in Montreal's Sainte-Marie neighbourhood. The driver, who left the scene of the impact, was arrested several hours later on Montreal's South Shore and charged, but has been released on bail pending further legal proceedings.

According to the organizers of Tuesday's protests, it is possible to avoid a repeat in 2023.

A fortnight ago, the organizations Piétons Québec, CAA-Québec and Vivre en ville criticized the inertia of the Quebec government, calling for the implementation of measures to promote the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

The Société de l'assurance-automobile du Québec's (SAAQ) provisional report for 2022 indicates that as of September, 39 pedestrians had lost their lives in accidents, an increase of 14.7 per cent compared to the entire year of 2021.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 24, 2023.