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New crackdown on reckless Norwich drivers

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:27 02 July 2010

Sarah Hall

Reckless drivers who gamble with the lives of Norwich youngsters by parking dangerously outside city schools were today warned to smarten up - or be hit with fines.

Reckless drivers who gamble with the lives of Norwich youngsters by parking dangerously outside city schools were today warned to smarten up - or be hit with fines.

Head teachers today welcomed a new order put in place by Norwich City Council, which means drivers who stop on zig-zag lines outside schools can now be hit with a penalty charge notice.

The thoughtless drivers, who insist on parking as close as possible to school gates, can put children who are crossing the road in danger, because they make it difficult for them to see oncoming traffic - and for the traffic to see them.

A traffic regulation order (TRO) against stopping on school keep clear markings has come into force and anyone found doing so could be fined £70.

TROs are the legal orders which allow parking enforcement. In the past, many markings outside schools were advisory and not backed by TROs, meaning enforcement was not consistent.

Brian Morrey, Norwich City Council member for sustainable city development, said: “This issue was a concern for the city council, as these markings are there to protect children.

“Council officers decided the best way to resolve it was to provide a blanket approach covering all school keep-clear markings - meaning we have a clear remit for enforcement and helping to ensure the safety of local school children.

“We also hope this will encourage pupils to take advantage of the safer environment and travel to school by sustainable modes such as walking and cycling.”

The order, which came into force last Monday, allows enforcement of all zig-zag lines outside schools within the Norwich City Council area.

Stopping on the road markings during the stated times is prohibited. Some markings do not allow stopping at any time and others will be in force from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday.

Anyone found disregarding these restrictions could be issued a penalty charge notice, which is £70, or £35 if paid in 14 days.

Norwich City Council has worked with Norfolk County Council to get the new order brought in.

Cara Jermy, head teacher of Magdalen Gates Primary School, in Bull Close Road, said she was delighted the order had been introduced.

The school is on a very busy road and there have been long-standing problems with people parking dangerously, blocking the views of children trying to cross the road.

She said: “I'm really pleased they're doing this. It can be a real issue when parents and other drivers park out there, because it becomes dangerous for the children trying to cross the road.

“I hope the council will use the powers because there are people who are persistent offenders.”

The initiative fits in with the Evening News's Park Safe campaign, which urges people not to park dangerously outside the school gates.

Launched in 2006, the campaign, which has been backed by head teachers, calls on parents to park away from school gates or to walk their children to school.

Nationally, one in five children hurt on the roads is injured during the hours of the school run - with 190 deaths and injuries each year.

Is your local school fighting to prevent dangerous parking outside the gates? Tell us your story by calling Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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