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Safety Is A Priority - Council Crackdown On Drivers Putting Children’s Lives at Risk

Press release   •   Mar 31, 2014 10:58 BST

From April 2014 a camera car will help Rochdale Borough Council 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.

Councillor Jacqui Beswick, Cabinet Member for Place and Regulation, said: “Children trying to cross roads near schools are being put in danger by thoughtless drivers. This is even more worrying as many of the drivers are actually parents of schoolchildren themselves and flout the parking laws simply to save a few minutes on the school run, with no regard for other youngsters.

“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”.

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 continually patrol the schools, but problems re-occur when the officers move to a different school, as drivers return and continue to park illegally.

The vehicle will primarily be used to tackle parking outside schools, although it may be used to tackle hotspot restrictions which are difficult to enforce, such as bus stops, taxi ranks and where a loading restriction is in place. 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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