Road Safety News

Medway campaign targets parents

Thursday 30th August 2012

A ‘zig zag’ banner campaign in Medway is urging parents to consider where they are parking when they drop off their children at school.

The campaign is timed to coincide with the start of the new school term next week and is setting out to reduce congestion, improve visibility of young pedestrians and put a stop to illegal dangerous parking.

The campaign aims to stop drivers from parking on school ‘keep clear’ markings, commonly referred to as zig zags. There are three banners, each carrying a progressively stronger message.

The campaign has been used at a number of schools since first launched in 2009 and feedback has been positive, with a notable improvement in terms of the number of cars parked outside school entrances.

Su Ormes, Medway’s principal RSO, said: “There is a small percentage of parents parking inconsiderately and illegally on the yellow zig zag lines or on roads just outside the school gates. We hope that parents will make a positive step and find a legal place to park for the school drop off.”

Cllr Phil Filmer, Medway Council's portfolio holder for frontline services, added: “If parents can do their bit for congestion and the environment by leaving their car at home and walking their child to school or joining one of the many walking bus schemes in Medway, that would be very positive.

“The overall message is simple: keep school entrances clear and keep our children safe.”

For more information contact James Sutton 01634 331399.


Comment on this story
Report a reader comment

What's your view - comment on this story:

I confirm that I have read and accept the moderation policy and house rules relating to comments posted on this website.
Your comment:
Your name and location:
Your email:

To hopefully clarify the TRO issue. School Keep Clear Zig-Zags can be installed without a TRO in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regs and are enforcable by a Police Officer as proof of obstruction. To make them enforcable by Civil Parking Enforcement and others you need to ADD a TRO and signs to prohibit STOPPING at specific times. The Regulations result in residents being unable to reasonably use the zig-zag space during school holidays as you cannot use the legend "during term time".
Mark, Caerphilly

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

I most certainly have not "told the world that councils only do half a job". School Keep Clear areas are road markings that do not have to be made enforceable with accompanying TROs and all the time, signs and expense that this entails - like many other road markings, they can quite correctly be installed as a stand alone measure and, if that works, that is sufficient.

The additional optional, measures of TROs, notices and signage are available if required.

My point is that, sadly, authorities all too often now have to go to this additional expense and effort because too many drivers - almost all of them parents – deliberately choose to ignore the School Keep Clear markings which are there to keep the area immediately outside schools clear so that children and parent pedestrians can see the vehicles and drivers can see the children.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

Honor, do u realise that u have informed us all that local authorities only do half a job because it would cost the ratepayer monies to do it right in the first place. Also, to deceive drivers by placing lines without the required regulations governing them.

Don’t get me wrong I am all for no parking/stopping outside schools and 20 mph speed limits there but they have to be lawfully placed and enforceable.

I had a friend, ex-police, who when retired became a traffic warden and he told me that on certain streets the LA placed double yellow lines without the necessary regulations in force, in order that it would deter parking. They were informed not to book any parkers on those lines, however many were given tickets anyway. Now in my book that’s a criminal offence of obtaining monies by a deception.
bob craven Lancs.

Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

Sorry to disillusion Olly and Bob but in Wolverhampton we are close to completing TROs on all our Zig-Zags, thus making them enforecable by CEOs as well as Police who already had and exercised this power. We are also introducing a patrol vehicle equipped with CCTV, GPS and ANPR which will increase scope to attend sites and evidence offences. Congestion does make traffic slow down but keeping crossing points clear generally provides for better sight-lines and sometimes helps opposing flows of traffic to pass each other, thus avoiding total gridlock. Yes, I am a parking nerd, but it's the world that's made me this way.
Tim Philpot, Wolverhampton

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

We are in the process of running the same campaign called "What’s your Excuse” so good luck to Medway with theirs. Our campaign, apart from opening up the sight lines outside schools, will also coincide with the 20 MPH zones and limits being introduced outside our schools.

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)

May I pose two questions:
Are school gates dangerous places or is there simply a perception of danger?
Does the chaotic parking of parents dropping children off actually have a calming effect and force through traffic to slow down?
Michael, Edinburgh

Agree (7) | Disagree (2)

Bob's comment is right, I believe rectifying these would be prohibitive due to cost of advertising TROs. In any case the selfish ones who park there aren't bothered because a CEO can't be there each day and if they are they just move off. It needs parent power and campaigns like this to appeal to their better nature (OK, some won't have one!). Every school in the country has this chaos, can't understand why with the price of petrol and the cost of gyms!
Olly, Lancs

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

For School Keep Clear zigzag markings to be enforceable, they must be supported by signs and a Traffic Regulation Order. For many years zigzags were used without being made enforceable because their presence was sufficient for most parents not park on them. This level of common sense and considerate compliance diminished just as the number of parents driving their children to school increased, to the point where now many councils are having to go to the extra expense of making legal orders and then installing the necessary signs and poles - more street clutter and less pavement space for those who walk - to enable parking officers to enforce them.

In my experience this is often an unpopular duty for those officers - because of the amount of hostility, abuse and bad language they are subjected to by parent-drivers in front of their children. How sad that all this is now necessary.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)

The basic function of pedestrian guardrail is to guide pedestrians to safe crossing points. It is a fact however, that conventional guardrail will at certain approach angles obscure small children or animals from approaching motorists. Thus, posing a danger at crossing points. This happens if you put a big banner on the rail. Where possible we like to put the banners not on the railing but on the school wall. That said I have to jump through planning hoops to have any signs up at all so we use the designs of the banners in leaflets and newsletters and some heads are going to name and shame some parents.
Peter Wilson London

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

Bob - At the risk of being pedantic, anyone who did this would still be obstructing the highway and could be prosecuted if a Police officer so wished to do so. The lack of any waiting resrictions does not give a motorist the right to park "with impunity" on the highway - one would always be technically be causing an obstruction.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (2)

I can go round schools in Blackpool and without committing any offence I can park on the majority of zig zag line which have been painted outside.

There is a simple reason for this - many do not conform to the law, there being no required signage posted along its length to say that parking is illegal. Without it one can park or stop with impunity and one cannot get done by any law enforcement officer.

So come on councils, do your job right and get the signs up.

The school nearest me has busy roads both morning and night with pedestrian crossings and bus stops, junctions opposite ect - a really busy and dangerous time.

Many cars stop and let down or pick up and the whole thing is a mess. However some 50 yards down the road there is a massive car park for the baths/sports centre and low and behold it’s quiet at both of those times.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (7) | Disagree (1)