Local newpaper champions “Park safe be safe” campaign

13 Dec

Back in 2006 the Northants Evening Telegraph launched a ‘Park Safe Be Safe‘ campaign focused on anti-social and dangerous parking the county and have encouraged action by parents, children and authorities. All very impressive and very necessary. Consider the issue has it has unfolded in the past few years:

Three children were knocked to the ground outside a school in Kettering by a car which had been parked on a pavement during the school run in February 2009. A few months later a mother appealed to drivers outside the same school to behave more sensibly. One mother reported that ‘she has had to step in to prevent her children being hit by vehicles on at least three occasions’.

In October parents were continuing to park dangerously and illegally outside a primary school in Kettering despite pupils previously issuing their own parking tickets. One parent reported that their nine-year-old daughter and a friend had almost be hit by a reversing car and then in November 2009 a two year old girl had to be pulled out of danger from a reversing car in Corby. The mother explained “I was picking my little boy up from school. We were walking on that side and a driver started backing up. She was about to be squashed but we managed to pull her out of the way”.

In February 2010 three children were knocked down while crossing a zebra crossing outside another Kettering school. In April 2010 a father was rammed by a car after he had knocked on a car window to ask a driver to move. In May 2010 parents were again urged to park sensibly. In June 2010 a new scheme based on ‘school drop off’ points was trialed at some school where volunteers walking the children from the drop-off point to the actual school and then pupils were handing out special tickets on cars parked dangerously or illegally near their school and a neighbouring infants school. PCSO Thomas said that the tickets which looked like parking tickets but were specially-made cards from Northamptonshire Casualty Reduction Partnership has been well received by parents and local residents.

In September 2010 the paper relaunched their campaign with the slogan ‘When you dropped your child off at school this morning, where did you park’. Also in September 2010 they reported that illegal parking had reduced significantly outside the school where the 3 children had been knocked down in February after police had handed out 23 tickets in 3 months. The police commented that ‘police officers have put parking tickets on vehicles committing offences… this has not proved popular with the drivers of the offending vehicles, but we have explained why we are at the school and why a penalty ticket has been issued’.

In December 2010 a total of 26 schools that participate in the ‘Junior Road Safety Officer‘ scheme received banners to display outside their school to highlight the risks of thoughtless parking.

Well done to the Northants Evening Telegraph for championing this important cause. But isn’t it amazing that drivers are sill complain about this and that a small number of drivers ignore regulations and then complain when the regulations are enforced or worse and actually drive into people who try to ensure that regulations are enforced!

Is Northants uniquely bad or have they just been better than most places at documenting the issue? I suspect that it is just that they have been better at documenting the issue, indeed I have been told by a parent at my local primary school that she also had a scare when a driver reversed a vehicle onto the pavement and nearly knocked her kid over.

Update

A three year old girl was in hospital with a broken leg after being knocked down by a reversing car outside a school in Burnley in November 2010. The police said: “Enquiries are ongoing but clearly both the family of the girl and the driver of the car have been left devastated by what has happened”. The canon of the local church said “The legal parking is much further down Church Street but you can’t stop parents getting as close to the school as they can”.

A Manchester mother started blocking the road to her child’s primary school after her 9yo son was smacked in the face by the door of a vehicle parked on the pavement in October 2010.

One Response to “Local newpaper champions “Park safe be safe” campaign”

  1. Graham Martin-Royle December 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Isn’t it amazing how drivers complain when they get a ticket. They try to put the blame on every one and anything rather than accept that the only person to blame is themselves. Ticketing motorists who park like this is the only way to get it through to them that this is unacceptable. Ticket and, for the worst offenders, tow them away.

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