Parents and carers across Mayo are being encouraged to pledge their support for a new scheme aimed at tackling inappropriate and illegal parking around schools.
Many schools suffer from inconsiderate parking around the school entrance and in nearby streets and as a result children’s safety is being put at risk.
With the support of schools, Mayo County Council has launched the Parents’ Parking Promise. The promise encourages even more parents and carers to park responsibly around schools or consider using other modes of transport such as walking, cycling or bus journeys to help children travel to and from school safely.
The promise asks everyone that signs up to; not park on zig zag or double yellow lines; not park on pavements; park carefully and considerately; consider walking or cycling to schools, or take part in the Park and Stride (if the school has this one ) and park a short distance away from the school and walk the remaining bit – which are both healthier alternatives.
By signing up to the scheme and completing the Parking Promise form parents/carers will then receive a car badge from their school, which is specific to their children’s school, and demonstrates their commitment to parking responsibly and hopes to further strengthens their support to the scheme.
One school principal said: “Over the past 20 years the percentage of children travelling to school by car nationally has doubled. With schools working with parents we hope to further highlight that there are other options available than driving to school, but if parents choose this option then we want to encourage them to do this safely and join this scheme to make children feel safer on their way to and from school. Many head teachers have expressed concerns to us about the inappropriate parking outside their schools and in response to these concerns we are introducing the road safety camera car. However, we hope that by highlighting the Parking Parents Promise scheme it will help raise even more awareness and help further reduce poor parking around schools.”
Noel Gibbons, road safety officer, Mayo County Council, said: "Many local schools and residents are suffering with these parking problems and we're asking motorists to be more mindful when parking even for a short period of time. These set down areas are outside our schools for a very good reason. They're there to keep pupils safe by creating a sight line that enables them to see and be seen before crossing the road. The majority of drivers do take notice of these markings and behave responsibly - but there is also a persistent and thoughtless minority who ignore these restrictions for their own selfish convenience. These people continue to use restricted zones when dropping off and collecting children just to save themselves what amounts to seconds of their time."