Parents and carers are being encouraged to think before they park now that pupils have returned to the classroom.
Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire County Council are urging parents and carers to park safely and legally around schools, taking into consideration pedestrians, other road users, local residents and school parking policies.
The advice is shared ahead of a multi-agency enforcement event supporting a two-week national vulnerable road users campaign. It will highlight parking standards and offer advice on how to reduce congestion and improve the safety of those travelling to and from schools.
Officers have been working with John Wheeldon Academy in Stafford to organise the event which took place on Tuesday 14 September. Council representatives were in attendance as well as the INTO School Travel Team, who advised on active sustainable options for the journey into school. Air Aware Staffordshire also attended to educate drivers regarding the poorer air quality around schools and how making changes including not leaving the car engine running can help reduce pollution.
Chief Inspector Matt Derrick of Staffordshire Roads Policing Unit said: "Officers across the county regularly conduct patrols around schools and we will always respond where there are concerns raised. Not all matters can be dealt with by police so it is important we work with partners to reduce the potential for accidents or injury and that parents and carers understand how they can assist.
"There are rules on parking which need to be adhered to. A car shouldn’t be parked dangerously such as on zig zags, double yellow lines, on a bend or near to a junction. It shouldn’t cause issues for others, for example over a driveway of a property, over a dropped kerb or in a way that blocks access for emergency vehicles.
"Parking on the pavement can cause problems for parents with prams, wheelchair or mobility scooter users, the elderly and visually impaired.
"We also ask that people think about the safety of the children walking to school. Don’t park on or near crossing points where a school crossing patrol operates as this can impede their view, making the crossing unsafe."
David Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Councilexplained that keeping school children safe when using the roads is one of our top priorities.
David said: "We continue to work closely with schools and parents to encourage more active ways of getting to and from school. For example, walking, scootering or cycling are all great ways of getting around and benefit not only families through
keeping them fit and healthybut also the environment. We also have walking buses and park and stride schemes at many schools so there’s plenty of reasons to leave the car at home.
"For parents that need to travel by car, it can be a particularly busy time and we want to encourage them to not only be responsible drivers, but to use park and stride wherever possible and also park legally, keeping pavements clear for all pedestrians."
Helen Fisher, Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, said: "We all have a part to play in keeping our roads safe for everyone. This initiative is so important in making sure parents and carers think about how their parking can impact on the safety of residents, other road users – and the children themselves."
Residents living near to schools who have concerns or issues regarding parking can find further information on the Staffordshire County Council website.