Havering Council, a borough of North East London, is using powers under new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) that allows certain kinds of anti-social behaviour to be punished as criminal offences if committed with in pre-defined area.
“Despite years of campaigns and requests for parents to behave responsibly, a small but determined minority are continuing to engage in increasingly dangerous parking practices which put the lives of children at risk on a daily basis,” a spokesperson said.
Six schools have been chosen to pilot the scheme starting this spring, which will include designating new drop-off points and training volunteer groups and teachers to issue the tickets. As well as teachers and volunteers, CCTV cameras will be set up in the designated areas to enforce the measures.
The first three offences will be punished with a fine of £100 and anything after that may see parents taken to court, with the threat of criminal prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Councillor Robert Benham said: “There are, unfortunately, a small but persistent minority of parents who refuse to consider any alternative to their current dangerous parking practices, and represent an imminent threat to children’s lives. We hope that they will come to understand that the new proposals are necessary to keep our children safe.”
Una Connelly, headteacher of one of the affected schools, Wykeham Primary, said she supported the scheme.
“There have been a number of serious incidents involving dangerous driving by parents,” she told the BBC. “There have also been many near misses, and we’re acting before there’s a fatality.”
What do the zig zag lines outside a school mean?
Is it legal to stop on yellow zig zag signs?
The law is far from clear. Yellow zig zag lines outside schools that have signs listing hours of operation can be enforced legally by the local council. Camera cars, CCTV or parking wardens can issue a penalty charge notice. The hours stated usually relate to drop off and pick up times, but outside these windows, drivers are legally permitted to park on the yellow zig zag lines – unless the presence of single or double yellow indicate otherwise. Double yellow lines indicate no stopping at any time.
Yellow zig zag lines without signs simply advise motorists not to wait or park on them. The local authority does not have the power to issue a penalty charge notice, but to confuse matters even more, the police can issue a ticket for causing an obstruction to either other traffic or pedestrians.
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