Big fines for the zig-zag parkers is just the ticket

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Some will undoubtedly argue that fining parents who park outside schools is an outrage, another example of tinkering with our lives by the nanny state.

There will be others who shake their heads in disbelief that there is a parking-outside-the-school-gates issue at all.

‘Why any child more than five years old can’t walk to school on its own just like I did – or at least be accompanied by a parent – is beyond me,’ you can hear them moaning.

But times have changed radically.

These days, more often than not, both parents work and the children are dropped off or picked up by either mum or dad en route to or from the workplace.

Then there is the ever-increasing number of vehicles on our streets. Not to mention the fear of undesirables lurking around every corner.

But that does not excuse the hugely anti-social and downright dangerous habit of those thoughtless parents who insist on parking on the zigzag markings outside schools while they drop off their offspring.

So, three cheers for Portsmouth City Council which has made ground-breaking strides to get to grips with one of the curses of the modern age.

It is the first local authority in the country to tell parents: ‘Park responsibly or face a court summons and a possible £1,000 fine.’

So far, 213 zigzag offenders have received warning letters; 13 have been visited at home. The next step is that summons and if convicted, the £1,000 fine.

It’s a pretty safe bet that it will not be long before one lazy parent will be having to fork out having been made an example by magistrates.

Cllr Jason Fazackarley, the council’s cabinet member of traffic and transport, is right when he says: ‘The most common factor in road incidents involving child pedestrians is a child trying to cross the road from between parked cars.

‘This initiative means anyone who parks on zigzags during school hours now risks a £1,000 fine.’

Those who think it’s all rather draconian had better think again.