New parking powers used for first time
Sarah HallNew powers which mean reckless drivers who gamble with the lives of Norwich children by parking dangerously outside schools can be fined have been used for the first time.Sarah Hall
New powers which mean reckless drivers who gamble with the lives of Norwich children by parking dangerously outside schools can be fined have been used for the first time.
The first �70 penalty charge notice has been dished out to a thoughtless driver who stopped on zig-zags outside one of the city's schools.
Norwich City Council's parking attendants got the power to issue the fines after an order came into force at the end of March - to the delight of head teachers who have been trying to make life safer outside the school gates.
Many schools have problems with drivers, including parents, parking dangerously and blocking the views of children trying to cross the road.
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But many of the markings outside schools which are meant to deter them from parking so close to the school gates were advisory and not backed by traffic regulation orders, meaning enforcement was not consistent.
However, the new order means offenders can be hit with a �70 fine, which is reduced to �35 if paid within 14 days, and the city council has served its first notice.
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Brian Morrey, Norwich City Council member for sustainable city development, said he hoped the orders would solve the long-running problem of dangerous parking.
He said: '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.'
Recreation Road Infant School in Norwich was one of many in the city which advised parents the council was about to start enforcing the orders.
Staff there said it was too early to say whether the threat of the fines was having an effect on parking behaviour.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org