Crackdown on school zig-zag parking

as Council launch new campaign against inconsiderate drivers

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Drivers who park their cars on the yellow zig-zags outside school entrances are to be targeted in a new campaign to improve road safety for children and young people.

Despite being illegal, many drivers habitually park their cars on the zig-zag markings which incorporate the words "School Keep Clear".

The markings are situated at school entrances and are designed to maintain good sight lines for children and motorists. They are specifically designed to reduce the chances of children suddenly appearing in the carriageway from behind parked cars. They also ensure that entrances are kept clear in case emergency vehicles like ambulances or the fire brigade need to attend.

Schools across the borough regularly report that selfish drivers are ignoring the warning signs and putting their pupils at risk.

Many head teachers have highlighted the issue in school newsletters and some have even resorted to placing leaflets on offending vehicles, but this has not led to any noticeable improvement in drivers' behaviour.

As a result, councillors have now agreed to target these drivers using mobile and fixed CCTV cameras, as well as parking attendants.

Any vehicle which is filmed stopping on a yellow ziz-zag marking outside a school entrance will now be issued with a penalty charge notice, which will be sent though the post. A ticket will be issued even if the driver remains in the vehicle. This includes parents who just pull over to drop off or pick up their children.

Councillors hope that once drivers realise they face a good chance of being fined, they will begin to comply with the law and make it safer for other children entering and leaving school.

Cabinet member for regeneration and transport Cllr Kathy Tracy said: "If motorists obey the Highway Code and stop parking where they shouldn't they'll have nothing to worry about. The drivers we are concentrating our efforts on are the inconsiderate ones who are putting children's lives at risk.

"Many headteachers have tried to raise awareness about the dangers posed by people parking outside school gates, but their appeals have fallen on deaf ears. That's why we are stepping up our enforcement of these important safety rules."

April 22, 2004