COMMENT: If we can’t use commonsense then a stick is needed

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Few things raise the hackles faster or fill The News’s inbox quicker than when we report on traffic and parking matters.

Our roads are increasingly congested and as anyone coming home from work late at night while tell you, parking spaces around Portsmouth are at a premium.

Plenty of people seethe from inside their vehicles on a daily basis, and sadly, commonsense will often fly out of the window.

Nowhere is this more obvious than around schools.

Our education establishments are inevitably right in alongside densely packed residential areas. And as anyone who lives close to a school will tell you, first thing in the morning and mid-afternoon are not times when you want to be driving past if you can avoid it.

You would like to think that when children are involved it might temper some of those bad habits and motorists’ angry tendencies.

But that does not seem to be the case.

As Portsmouth City Council’s traffic boss, cllr Simon Bosher put it: ‘Parents seem to forget that it’s their own neighbour’s children... that they are actually endangering.’

It seems that well need a little encouragement to improve our behaviour behind the wheel.

When a camera was put in place outside Solent Junior School in Drayton parking offences dropped by a staggering 98 per cent. And when one was put outside Portsdown Infant School they came down by a creditable 80 per cent.

Whenever there is talk of fines, there is a predictable howl that the council is using the cameras to simply raise revenue off the backs of an already overtaxed public.

But ask yourself, what makes more sense – raising revenue, or asking motorists to use a little more care and consideration and not putting lives at risk?