Parents face fines for breaking school run rules

Parents face fines for breaking school run rules
Parents are the latest target in the war against air pollution, with several UK councils threatening fines of up to £130 for school run misdemeanours.

Parking outside school gates, driving in ‘exclusion zones’ and engine-idling are among the practices being cracked down upon as the new school term begins.

The RAC welcomes local measures to improve air quality, but thinks strategies which aren’t so quick to fine time-poor mums and dads should always be considered first.

READ MORE: Parents also face fines for school run engine-idling

A survey of councils shows several schools are enforcing rules around parking and leaving engines running – using CCTV cameras to monitor offenders.

The measures are part of a bid to improve road safety, cut congestion and minimise pollution. Certain schools were found to be closing roads in the immediate vicinity of schools during peak times – even enforcing hefty fines.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams claims that, not only do rushed parents often have little option but to drive their children to school – they would generally be “receptive to measure to improve air quality”.

He adds: “Idling engines are a major source of pollution so we welcome authorities attempting to address this – however the best way to do this is to encourage parents to do this without a rush to hand out fines.

“Local authorities should work closely with schools to make it clear that leaving an engine running is not only bad for fuel economy, but is contributing to poor air quality around the school. We welcome an approach to educate drivers with signs and banners outside schools encouraging engines to be switched of or risk being fined.”

Earlier this week it was revealed that childlike figurine bollards are being used in an attempt to enhance road safety around schools in Buckinghamshire.

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In some cases, parents could face fines of up to £130 for driving in restricted zones, while other authorities are considering “no-idling” zones with fines for those who leave engines running outside schools.

Ted Richards, cabinet member for transport and highways, said: “We know that most people do drive responsibly, but it can often be chaotic outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times.

“The aim of school streets is to create a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone around schools.”

Sam Jones, campaigner at Cycling UK, warned that without sufficient investment in cycling and walking routes, fining parents represents an “all stick and no carrot” approach.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.