The end of the summer holidays and start of the new school year spells dread for some. No, not schoolchildren or even the teachers – but residents living near some schools.
Streets around schools can often become clogged with cars as parents drop off their children, causing safety concerns and problems for local residents.
The City Council’s road safety team works all year round to raise awareness of the dangers of inconsiderate parking near schools where hundreds of children cross roads, and works with schools to suggest ways to address the issue – from organising ‘walking buses,’ encouraging parents to walk at least the last part of the journey or cycle, to physical changes outside schools to deter poor motorist behaviour by parents where possible.
Now a CCTV vehicle is set to become the latest tool to prevent dangerous and inconsiderate parking outside schools when it is put into action by the council from next week. The CCTV enforcement vehicle, clearly marked with CCTV and City Council logos, will be driven by trained civil enforcement officers.
Anyone caught parking dangerously can be issued with a penalty charge notice of £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days. Footage will be reviewed and an independent officer determines if a parking contravention has occurred. If a parking contravention has occurred a PCN is sent to the address of the registered keeper/owner/hirer of the vehicle. This will be sent by post within 28 days of the date of the alleged parking contravention. This will be accompanied by photographic evidence of the parking contravention.
Portfolio Holder for Transport, Cllr Adele Williams, said: “The situation outside schools at dropping off and picking up times is a constant source of concern and frustration for us, our schools and local residents. Poor driving and parking too often places children at serious risk of harm and causes problems for local residents and other road users.
“It is really important that parents and pupils crossing outside schools have a clear and safe space to do so and especially that the ‘school keep clear’ road markings that are there to help achieve that are respected and observed. Failing to do that is unnecessary and unacceptable and frankly parents who do so should be ashamed of the example they are setting their children and the danger they are willing to put their own and other people’s children in through their thoughtlessness.
“We will not hesitate to issue fines to parents whose inconsiderate motoring habits place children and others at risk, as part of our ongoing efforts to improve safety outside schools.”