COMMENT: Parking on zig-zags is illegal for good reason

It’s no secret that parking conditions across Portsmouth are atrocious.

Arguments continue unabated about the merits of residents’ parking permits and the zoning of areas.

But there is one place that people are generally in agreement about – and that is outside schools.

There are zig-zag lines banning people from parking outside schools for good reason.

You don’t need to be picking up or dropping off children, just having the misfortune to be on the roads in the vicinity of a school at opening or closing time, to know how chaotic it can be.

At the moment, Portsmouth City Council views parking on zig-zags outside schools as a priority for its traffic enforcement officers, who spend 60 per cent of their duty time each day looking to prevent drivers from breaking the law.

It is behaviour that is at best selfish, at worst downright dangerous.

Four cameras used as part of a pilot scheme snapped 348 drivers breaking the law.

However, the far more telling statistic is just how much the law-breaking parking behaviour dropped off in these areas.

These cameras should not, and don’t appear to be, used as revenue-creating devices.

Counter-intuitive as it may seem, for them to be successful in their aim, they would actually not make any money at all.

The council is remaining tight-lipped on where the next batch of cameras is to be installed. Wherever they are though, you can guarantee that word will soon get around, just as it appears to have done so in the pilot scheme locations.

It almost seems ridiculous that you can put a financial value on the safety of our children. But when people are happy to ignore the road markings without pause for thought, the threat of a £70 ticket would seem to do the job.

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