Road Safety News

New recruits help promote safe parking at North Yorkshire schools

Wednesday 6th December 2017

North Yorkshire County Council’s road safety team is acting to ease concerns about irresponsible parking near school gates - with the help of a series of cut out road safety characters.

The council says that irresponsible parking by a minority of parents poses a safety risk to pupils and parents who walk and cycle to school, as well as other road users and local residents.

To combat this, the road safety team has bought a set of signs that can be borrowed by schools, to be positioned near the school gates. The signs feature school children, parents and a police officer and are designed encourage people to park away from the school entrance and not to block pavements or roads.

It is hoped the signs - which include messages such as ‘show you care, park elsewhere’ - will improve road safety, create a safer and cleaner environment and bring health benefits for parents and pupils by encouraging more children and parents to walk to school.

County councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for highways, said: “We have had problems outside primary schools at morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.

“The congestion can cause a nuisance for residents and other road users and potentially endanger lives as children cross between parked cars or people have to walk onto the road because a vehicle is obstructing the pavement.

“In addition, children are missing out on the opportunity to develop vital road safety skills with their parents on the way to school. They don’t build confidence and learn to manage the risks in walking around their community.

“We hope these signs will help schools that experience a problem to get the message over in a friendly but clear way.”

Category: Children.



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Well done to Kevin and his team at North Yorkshire County Council for helping to keep children safe. Feedback from schools using them is amazing, stating that they are helping to slow speed, cutting down on zigzag and yellow line parking and making drivers aware that there are lots of children in the area. Parents are also commenting that they are much harder to ignore than normal cones and A Boards. If anyone needs more info on them please contact me on
Carol McDonald

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

Hugh, I don't think that you are completely right in your presumption that its only parking that is the problem. The problem is definately both. The stopping for minutes and waiting for their child on dark efternoons and the unreasonable stopping and the causing of danger at all times which is therefore driving without reasonable consideration to other road users both mobile and walking. I have seen drivers actually double park for a few seconds to allow their child to get out or access to the car. Usually on the drivers side and in the path of oncoming traffic.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

This is an age old problem, and a nightmare scenario for many schools. I have been in the Road Safety Business for over 30 years, when taking my grandchildren to school I see this problem continually. Our local school has a school crossing lady and still certain parents stop out side the school gates to drop children off.

Maybe if these character cut outs get through to the children they can pass the message onto to the odd few selfish parents who still continue to cause these problems.

Great initiative North Yorks, hope it works out.
Mike Hancox Warwick

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

Parent/grand-parent drivers already know what not to do. The schools here send home letters and notes about inappropriate parking several times a year. Unfortunately parent drivers lazyness/busyness/selfishness seems to win out over children's safety almost every time.
Pat, Snowy Wales

Agree (10) | Disagree (0)

I don't think the problem is monentarily dropping passengers off Bob, it's being badly parked for 15, 20 even 30 minutes, causing a hazard and unreasonable obstruction and could be dealt with. Parents tend to have a favourite spot and if it's bad parking and they're not told (once may do the trick) they will keep doing it until something bad happens.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (2)

Unfortunately any and every vehicle parked on a highway (road or pavement etc) is technically causing an obstruction and not necessarily an unreasonable one especially when merely stopping or temporarily parked to drop off or pick up their child. They could in fact do that legally even if there were central white lines painted in the middle of the roads (the no overtaking lines). The police would not necessarily commit anyone to the reporting or the taking action against those for merely stopping (or temporarily parking) around a school. Unless it can be seen and proven in court that a specific offence is being committed. So let's rely on the law for enforcement and get those legally binding signs up and then the police can take any necessary action they deem to be reasonable and or necessary.

On the other hand if one moves drivers away from temporarily stopping or parking close to the school in question then where is one to move them to. If they have to drive around the streets or block to do exactly the same thing then surely dropping their kids off some distance from the school is not going to be the safest answer in many ways. Is it?
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (1) | Disagree (3)

I was thinking of simple obstruction of the highway Bob which does not require signing etc. rather than contravention of a waiting restriction, which does. The problems of parking around schools is not necessarily limited to where restrictions are in place.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (3)

Unfortunately Hugh it will need the signage to be lawfully in place before any offenders who park or stop in the prohibited area outside a school can be reported. Other than a word in the ear thats all that officers can do. Unless its within 32ft of a junction and that could be considered unreasonable. That said many bus stops are within 30ft of junctions anyway and the Transport Authorities obviously agree to possibly breaking the law don't they.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

As the persistent offenders outside a particular school will be 'regulars' as it were, I would have thought one parking ticket or two at the most for these individuals would be enough for the message to sink home i.e one or two visits by the police or council parking officers may be enough, rather than regular enforcement, which would be an unrealistic expectation.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (0) | Disagree (2)

What feels like a lot of my professional life is spent trying to sort out reoccurring problems like this. There are residents who are certain "a child will be killed" unless I find a miracle cure. Parents who think I should be doing more important things, like building them a car park and schools who generally don't want to get involved and hope the problem will go away, so they can get on with the job of educating children.

I must say, in most cases, the problem is one of annoyance and frustration rather than safety.

However this is an interesting idea to try. I look forward to hearing how well it goes, in say a years' time.

As an aside, the sign that says "don't block the pavement" won't be put out on the pavement will it?
Martin: Suffolk

Agree (14) | Disagree (0)

I'm glad that NYCC only have a minority of parents parking irresponsibly. Around here it is the majority of drivers on the school run. Those parents have got the message... the one that says that due to lack of resources to enforce, they are likely to get away with their selfish and inappropriate parking. Most parents know better but don't do it. Of course there are some good considerate parent driver examples but unfortunately they are the exception. We need a lot more enforcement around schools for the sake of the children.
Pat, Wales

Agree (6) | Disagree (2)

Parents will want to stop as close to the school as possible. That's human nature. Some mistakenly believe that the zig zags are there for that purpose only and that is to allow them to stop and drop off or pick up. Its no use asking them to park round the corner as they will not do that. However if the problem is parking/stopping outside the school gates then they should already try the legal remedy of enforcing the stopping or rather the no stoppimng rules and that is by way of the zig zag line but also of the yellow prohibition of stopping signss that are available and used at many other schools and enforced. Signs which actually enforce the law with regards to the zig zag lines outside school premises.

Then and only then can a police officer come along and either warn drivers or report drivers for the offence and shame those that stop and let off their offspring to the danger of other children and no doubt to the danger of their own.

I have also seen them stop on the zig zag lines approaching a pedestrian crossing in the mistaken belief that they can and that's the reason for the lines being there.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)