Junior ‘traffic wardens’ at local primary schools

YOUNGSTERS across Arbroath, frustrated by the continuing problem of inconsiderate parking at and around their schools, are taking the matter into their own hands with a little help from Tayside Police and Angus Council’s education department.

The move follows the latest concerns raised by headteachers, parents and pupils of schools throughout Angus.

They got together with representatives from the education department and Tayside Police to discuss a variety of options aimed at finding a solution to drivers parking inconsiderately outside or very close to school entrances.

From Monday (August 29), junior road safety officers from primary schools in Arbroath have been sending out letters to each household within the school vicinity requesting drivers to park considerately outside schools.

These letters originate from the thoughts of the schoolchildren and send a clear message that inconsiderate parking can not only be a nuisance but also very dangerous, as it causes a clear hazard when young people are being picked up or dropped off.

Following the letter drop, from Monday, September 5, school representatives will take note of any cars that are parked inconsiderately, or dangerously outside schools in the mornings and afternoons.

These details will be forwarded to Tayside Police’s roads policing unit which will then send letters of their own to car owners warning them that continued inconsiderate parking may result in further action.

The scheme is very much about education and highlighting the dangers of parking outside schools. It is hoped that the pilot scheme’s success will see it rolled out across the county.

Lesley Eaton, school travel administrator for Angus Council, said: “We regularly receive complaints from parents and children about discourteous drivers who abandon their vehicles in dangerous places. All those who attend school have the right to get there safely and crossing the road to the entrance can be a nightmare when vehicles are parked indiscriminately.

“We are delighted that headteachers are fully supportive of the measures which may be implemented should the initial phase not succeed in changing drivers behaviour.”

Wanda Gove, Tayside Police road safety officer, commented: “Inconsiderate parking outside schools is an ongoing problem which takes place throughout Tayside.

“Piloting the initiative in Arbroath is the first step to hopefully finding a permanent solution. Drivers who park in a dangerous manner, whether to drop off or pick up children, not only jeopardise the lives of their young passengers but those of every other road user.”

And Inspector Grant Edward, of the road policing unit, added: “Dangerous or inconsiderate parking causes untold hazards to all road users and parking outside schools endangers the younger members of our society even more.

“We are happy to be working in partnership with Angus Council to get tough on those members of society who consistently put people in danger.

“Measures will be taken to ensure that Angus schoolchildren can travel to and from school in a safer manner. Enforcement of road traffic legislation for dangerous or inconsiderate parking will be the final phase.”