Portsmouth motorists caught on school zig-zags could soon be captured on film and fined

Portsmouth City Council wants to stop parents parking on school zig-zags
Portsmouth City Council wants to stop parents parking on school zig-zags
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ROVING cameras could soon be on the lookout for drivers who put schoolchildren in danger by parking on zig-zags.

Portsmouth City Council is considering buying two of the cameras, in a bid to curb the menace of cars parked on school zig-zags, which block the view of children trying to cross the road and obstruct other road users.

A common factor in many accidents is a child crossing from behind parked cars, where they can’t see what’s coming. This is what zig-zags are supposed to stop.

Alan Cufley

City traffic boss, Cllr Jim Fleming, will consider the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday.

If approved, the cameras could start operating this autumn.

Parking officers came up with the plan after a survey of parents, teachers and school governors showed 84 per cent believed pupils were at risk on the roads outside their schools.

The cameras would watch for offenders parking on zig-zags only at the beginning and the end of school days. They would be set up at the highest-risk areas, and where they could be most effective.

They would be mounted on poles with signs warning drivers they were in operation.

Alan Cufley, the council’s director for transport, said: ‘Our civil enforcement officers will still be patrolling at various schools each day, as they do now, but clearly can’t be everywhere. These cameras would extend our ability to enforce zig-zags at drop-off and pick-up times.

‘The latest figures show child pedestrian casualties on the roads have gone down over 10 years, from an average of 56 a year to an average of 35 a year. But the numbers are still about 50% above the national average, and we need to take measures to reduce accidents further.

‘A common factor in many accidents is a child crossing from behind parked cars, where they can’t see what’s coming. ‘This is what zig-zags are supposed to stop.

‘I’m sure people will agree that we need to consider all options available to protect children. Parking on zig-zags is dangerous, even if you only spend a few moments dropping a child off.

‘This proposal is all about road safety and the operation of the cameras will be at a cost to the city council. We don’t want to hand out penalties – we want people to stay off the zig-zags.’

The penalty for stopping on zig-zags is £70, discounted to £35 if paid within 14 days.

The cameras would cost about £54,000 and would link up to technology already in place for bus lane cameras.