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Pedestrian Council of Australia
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health

 

Media Release

Sunday 6 November 2005

 

PCA Calls on All Councils to Adopt Zero-Tolerance and Covert Parking Enforcement Programs Around Schools

Full Support for Any Lawful Enforcement Programs from P&C and Willoughby Public School

FoI Reveals an Open, Consultative, Fair and Effective School-Zone Enforcement Process

 

The Chairman of the PCA, Mr Harold Scruby, has called on all Councils to adopt a zero-tolerance and covert parking enforcement program around all schools in NSW.

 

Mr Scruby said: “Claims that Councils are revenue-raising around schools are utter nonsense.  Parents, carers and motorists generally who risk children’s lives by stopping in pedestrian zones, bus zones, No Stopping zones or who double-park or park on footpaths deserve to have the book thrown at them.  The death of Bethany Holder at Pittwater House School demonstrated just how quickly and easily children can be killed or injured around schools.  The NSW Coroner went so far as to recommend that these areas are so dangerous that large 4WDs be banned from parking within 200 metres of all primary schools.” 

 

The President of the Federation of Parents and Citizens’ Associations of NSW, Ms Sharryn Ms Brownlee said:  “Child safety around schools is paramount.  At some schools, illegal parking is at epidemic proportions.  The notion that illegally parking for only a few seconds will cause no harm is utterly untenable.  Tragedies take a millisecond.  Line of sight around schools is critical to both motorists and pedestrians alike.  When vehicles obstruct that line of sight, tragedies occur, particularly with small children who are so difficult to see.”

 

Mr Scruby added. “1,378 primary school aged children were killed or injured on NSW roads from 2000 to 2004; half of which occurred during school travel time (see data below).  Those parents who couldn’t care less about the safety of children around schools are quite happy to take risks when they think the Rangers are not on patrol.  If they see the Rangers, they park legally.  But this is not a game.  It’s about protecting the lives and limbs of our most important asset: our children.  And minimising the potential for harm at these notoriously dangerous locations.  If parents believe that the Rangers are present, but possibly out of sight and they will be booked if they park illegally, even for a second, then the potential for harm will be minimised and lives will be saved.  That’s why a strategic, zero-tolerance, covert enforcement program is vital.” 

 

Ms Brownlee said: “The email (copy below) from Ms Julie Organ, Deputy Principal of Willoughby Public School says it all.  (QUOTE): ‘We need the rangers as part of our program because unfortunately we have found that unless the rangers are present the parents take unnecessary and dangerous risks affecting the potential harm of our students. As soon as the parents realise that the rangers could book them, they begin to use safe practices around our school.  Our school is thankful to the rangers and wish them to use all means of lawful enforcement including covert enforcement as we are determined to use 'best practice' with road safety for the care and safety of our students.’  (END).  “We also call on all Councils to embrace a “School Zones” education and awareness campaign at the beginning of every school year to highlight the dangers around schools and to ensure that motorists drive and park legally in order to avoid further deaths and injuries.”

 

Mr Scruby said: “Our Willoughby Council FoI (copy attached) proves that their school-zone enforcement program is in full and open consultation with the schools and other neighbouring Councils.  It is a more than reasonable program.  Recent sensationalist media accusing Rangers of booking hapless motorists for parking illegally around schools has resulted in one radio announcer calling Rangers ‘cockroaches’.  The derogatory publicity has resulted in one inner-city Council deciding to reduce school-zone enforcement from 5 days a week to one.  Beating parking meters and time-zones can be treated as fair game, because it is clearly revenue-raising and there is no potential for harm.  However, it is vital that the community and the media fully support Council Rangers in their illegal parking enforcement programs, whenever safety is involved, particularly around schools.”

 

CONTACTS: 

Sharryn Brownlee – Tel:  (0402) 331-111  or (02) 9080-2366 

Harold Scruby - Tel:  (0418) 110-011 or (02) 9968-4555


 

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----

From: School, Willoughby-p [mailto:willoughby-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au]

Sent: Tuesday, 1 November 2005 11:21 AM

To: walking@walk.com.au

Subject: RE: Illegal Parking around Willoughby School

 

Dear Harold;

 

Willoughby PS has placed a major focus on road safety and pedestrian safety around our school. We have implemented  K-6 whole school road safety lessons and regularly given parent and student tips in the newsletter to support our program.

 

We have just recently updated  road safety and bike safety policies at Willoughby PS.

 

We have relied heavily on the rangers for helping us to get the message across to our parents about the importance of road safety and safe practices around roads particularly before and after school when our students are arriving and leaving.

 

We have had parents parking in "No parking" areas on a daily basis. This creates a one way street in Oakville Rd causing traffic chaos. The parents have parked close to pedestrian crossings which has created blind spots and caused other drivers to be unable to see children crossing. We have had parents managing U-turns across double lines. We also have parents who park in 5minute spots for 30 minutes causing frustration for other drivers. We have had parents parking in our bus stop causing our children to be unable to access the bus safely and stopping traffic in Keary St.

 

The rangers have been diligent in supporting our school and helping us to get the message across to parents. It seems that parents continue parking and driving illegally unless there are consequences such as parking fines.

 

We are still having difficulties with parents parking and driving dangerously around our school and we welcome the rangers to help us. We are very concerned about the dangerous driving practices because we want to protect the safety of our students. Thanks  to the rangers for their support. We need them as part of our program so that we ensure all safe practices have been put in place.

 

We need the rangers as part of our program because unfortunately we have found that unless the rangers are present the parents take unnecessary and dangerous risks affecting the potential harm of our students. As soon as the parents realise that the rangers could book them, they begin to use safe practices around our school.

Our school is thankful to the rangers and wish them to use all  means of lawful enforcement including covert enforcement as we are determined to use 'best practice' with road safety for the care and safety of our students.

 

We need the rangers as part of our program because unfortunately we have found that unless the rangers are present the parents take unnecessary and dangerous risks affecting the potential harm of our students. As soon as the parents realise that the rangers could book them, they begin to use safe practices around our school.

 

Our school is thankful to the rangers and wish them to use all  means of lawful enforcement including covert enforcement as we are determined to use 'best practice' with road safety for the care and safety of our students.

 

 

Thank you,

Julie Organ

Deputy Principal.

 

 


 

 

Pedestrian Casualties Aged 5 to 12 Years Inclusive, NSW, 2000 to 2004    

 
 

School Travel Time defined as 7.30 to 9:30 am; and 2.30 to 5pm on a weekday outside school holidays.

 

Note that School Zones (40 km/h speed limits) apply to different time periods to the above, generally being in force between 8am to 9.30 am and 2.30 pm to 4pm

 

There has not been a child fatality in a school zone since February 2002, when a child was crushed by a parked vehicle rolling forward.

 

Source:  RTA



Copy of the letter obtained under FoI by the Pedestrian Council of Australia from Willoughby City Council.  The letter was in response to a complaint made by a man who was booked for double-parking outside Willoughby Public School, 3 metres from the kerb and allowing a school boy to get out, on the road, between parked cars.

From: Danielle Cronin [mailto:Danielle.Cronin@ccsp.catholic.edu.au]

Sent: Tuesday, 8 November 2005 6:01 PM

To: walking@walk.com.au

Subject: RE: MEDIA RELEASE: PCA Calls on All Councils to Adopt Zero-Tolerance and Covert Parking Enforcement Programs Around Schools

Importance: High

 

Dear Mr Scruby

 

Thank you for your media statement on Zero Tolerance programs around schools.  I fully support the proposals outlined in the statement.  As Executive Director of the peak Catholic parent body, the Council of Catholic School Parents  NSW/ACT, I sent the statement to our members and there has been quite a strong response in support of your proposals.

 

The Council of Catholic School Parents represents the interests of some 470 000 parents and carers associated with  children in Catholic Schools in NSW and ACT.

 

I have attached some of the comments from our members for your information:

 

Unfortunately many schools have problems with illegal parking. On several occasions our school has had to call on Police to monitor parking problems.

 

It is normally other people’s children that they are putting at risk, Not their own.

 

Most schools now have a drop off zone so that people can let their children out, and enforcement is, unfortunately, quite necessary.

 

My experience shows that they are the same people parking illegally, and normally it is not a once off occasion.

 

Maybe they need to look at increasing fines for repeat offences. I think some of the trucking fines use this method, whereby a repeat offence fine doubles in cost.

 

[Council Member representing parents in the Broken Bay Diocese of Sydney and Central Coast]

 

I think the Pedestrian Council statement is very timely considering all the press attention this issue has received lately. I cannot understand why the drivers who have been booked think they are the aggrieved parties. They broke the parking laws. Similarly, the drivers who speed through school zones must be booked as well, the excuse that it is a pupil free day when they are clocked going over the 40kph school zone limit doesn't wash either. As we know not every school in the state has the same pupil free day.

 

I think our council could support the Pedestrian Council and the P&C in their call for local councils to adopt zero tolerance on parking and the Police Service to enforce zero tolerance on speeding around all schools.

 

A school newsletter insert along the lines of the ILLEGAL PARKING AROUND SCHOOLS ENDANGERS YOUNG LIVES  from the PCA is a good first step in educating the main offenders- the parents from our schools.

 

[Council Member representing parents from the Armidale Diocese]

 

I think Zero Tolerance is the only way to go.

 

 Dropping off and picking the kids up from school is always a "Get in and Get out " exercise purely because of the limited time between school drop off and the need to be at work etc.

 

The mind goes into pit stop mode and rationality can quite easily go out the door.

 

 At my son’s school the police will patrol the drop off / pick up points at least twice a week and I know of no one who opposes their presence. We know their primary objective is to make us stop and think about what we are doing.

 

[Council Member representing parents from the Wollongong Diocese]

 

We would like to lend our support for any future campaign down these lines.  I look forward to hearing from you about how we can assist.

 

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

Danielle Cronin

Executive Director

Council Of Catholic School Parents NSW & ACT

 

Ph: 02 9390 5338

Fax: 02 9390 5299

Web:  www.ccsp.catholic.edu.au

Representing over 400 000 parents across NSW &ACT




Example of the PCA’s School-Zone “Education and Awareness” bumper sticker (both sides) produced in conjunction with various Councils.
 

 


View the PCA’s “Child on Board - School-Zone” TV advertisement:


School Zone TV Ad