Buderim business owner Garrie James is concerned about pedestrian safety at the Buderim Central Shopping Village. Garrie is on the scene of the accident in February.
Buderim business owner Garrie James is concerned about pedestrian safety at the Buderim Central Shopping Village. Garrie is on the scene of the accident in February.

Carpark safety revs up after child struck by car

MEMORIES of a young boy being hit by a car still replayed in the mind of a Buderim business owner who hoped the "freak carpark accident" would never be repeated.

Recent safety upgrades, warning signs and a fence have been added to areas around the Buderim Central Shopping Centre on Lindsay Rd in the wake of a four-year-old boy running out from a blind spot and into the path of a car.

Former Coffee Monkey owner Garrie James sold his neighbouring business after the incident but welcomed the new features if it would prevent another incident.

"Children slip out of people's hands… and it was nobody's fault, but safety precautions need to be overshot after something like that," he said.

"Hopefully it's been a wake-up call for shopping centres. The risk is there, and people need to be proactive with safety."

The incident was captured on CCTV and showed the young boy wander away from his grandparents before running through a small opening behind a building and onto the road.

Mr James witnessed the "traumatic" accident from the rear of his former business.

The driver, Anna Whitelaw, braked but still hit the young boy.

She told the Daily after the incident how it haunted her. The child suffered only minor injuries.

Anna Whitelaw accidentally hit a child and although the child wasn't hurt, it has stayed with her.
Anna Whitelaw accidentally hit a child and although the child wasn't hurt, it has stayed with her.

"I was travelling very slowly and next thing I knew there was a child in front of me and I thought I'd run him over," she said.

Both Ms Whitelaw and Mr James echoed the cry for change which came months after the incident.

Mr James had since moved on to his new venture due to open next month, Somewhere on Buderim, but was passionate about standing up for "what's right".

While any extra safety precautions were welcomed, Mr James said a speed bump to naturally slow vehicles should also be considered.

"There are a lot of older people walking and driving in the area… there should be more signage about the shared zones," he said.

"It's a safer place now but there can still be improvements… we shouldn't be handballing risk around."