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Council will continue CCTV crackdown on drivers putting children’s lives at risk

Press release   •   Aug 27, 2014 10:21 BST

Shortly before the start of the new academic year, Rochdale Borough Council is advising motorists that its CCTV camera car will still be used outside schools to tackle inconsiderate, dangerous and often illegal parking.

A government consultation was launched in December 2013 and closed in February this year. Despite proposals to ban CCTV, the outcome of the consultation was that councils will still be able to use the technology to enforce parking regulations outside schools, as well as in bus lanes and on red routes. The Government will seek to make the legislative changes through the Deregulation Bill, which is currently before Parliament. 

Councillor Jacqui Beswick, Cabinet Member for Housing and the Environment, said: “The outcome of the consultation is welcomed and it will be business as usual in the borough, as we continue to use the camera car outside schools to enhance safety and reduce the illegal parking.

“As a council we are committed to improving road safety around our schools and anticipate the car’s presence will act as a deterrent to the minority of motorists who abuse the parking restrictions in place.”

Since April 2014 a camera car has been deployed by Rochdale Borough Council to tackle inconsiderate, dangerous and often illegal parking outside schools.

There is a longstanding problem with illegal, unsafe parking outside schools as parked cars can block sight lines which prevent children being able to see, or be seen clearly by on-coming traffic.

The Council is sending out the message that this practice is unacceptable, unsafe, and could lead to accidents outside school gates for children, parents and nearby residents. The camera car will act as a strong visual deterrent to motorists not to flout parking restrictions.

In the past there have been repeated attempts by the Rochdale Borough Council, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and schools themselves to educate motorists and stop this behaviour including: 

  • ‘There is no excuse’ zig zag campaign – Council joined forces with GMP to target drivers parking on zig zag lines as everyone always has an excuse like: “I’ll only be a minute”, but in terms of safety – there is ‘no excuse’.
  • Junior PCSO Scheme – Year 6 pupils produced a letter to all parents informing them of the reasons not to park on the restriction outside school. Pupils dressed as PCSOs and talked to drivers while accompanied by a real PCSO.

In addition to the above, parking officers patrolled the schools but problems re-occurred when the officers moved to a different school, as drivers returned and continued to park illegally. 

All contraventions captured by the camera car will be reviewed by a qualified parking officer, resulting in a £70 penalty charge being issued. 

All cameras used are certified by the Secretary of State. A copy of the approval letter received in March 2014 is available to view on Rochdale Borough Council’s website, along with the Code of Practice.

Notes for Editors

Local authorities have a duty to tackle dangerous and illegal parking under the Traffic Management Act 2004

Parking enforcement is carried out by Rochdale Borough Council’s enforcement contractor NSL Ltd

The car is fitted with a Roadflow mobile enforcement camera and onboard processor supplied by SEA (Systems Engineering and Assessment Ltd in conjunction with Xerox Parking.

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