An ‘aggressive, zero tolerance’ campaign aimed at parents and carers who park irresponsibly outside schools is being launched in Thanet.
Thanet Community Safety Partnership aims to increase the number of penalty charges issued by 50% compared to last year and double the amount of ‘traffic visits’ to schools across the isle.
Thanet council’s head of operational services Trevor Kennett told councillors at a community safety working group meeting last night (February 20) that the partnership would be ‘doubling efforts’ to tackle the issue this year.
In 2017 30 parking tickets were issued to motorists parking on zig zags outside isle schools and there were 120 traffic visits to educate parents and pupils on parking and using the roads safely. In total for the year 1,025 PCNs were issued outside schools and roads associated with them for parking violations, with the main reason being cars parked on double yellow lines.
Mr Kennett told councillors at the meeting: “This is a UK wide issue and it is often parents and carers who are the ones putting children at risk. It is a unique problem to solve, it’s not often that the victim and the offender are the same.
“The parking outside schools is astounding and the traffic officer is often subjected to abuse. Parents totally agree it is a real problem and needs to be solved until they are personally challenged for ‘abandoning’ their vehicle. Then they get abusive.
“The community safety plan includes taking action with enforcement services proactively targeting nuisance vehicles outside schools.
“For 2018 we are going to try and double our efforts. Enforcement is not the answer on its own but levels of civil enforcement around schools are not enough. We can’t put an officer outside every school but we can target hot spots.
“In 2018 we will be making 250 traffic visits to schools and there will be a 50% increase in PCN issuing in associated roads. There will be awareness campaigns with the education officer visiting schools,
“We generally find the kids are totally on board and the schools are up for it, putting out A boards and marshalling but the issue is parents.
“With KCC and Kent Police we are going to have a more aggressive campaign aimed at parents and there will be zero tolerance around parking – they will all get a ticket and we will highlight the dangers and how inconsiderate parking puts children at risk.
“We have talked to schools and they agree that we need to target parents.”