Orange school students are calling on Orange drivers to do the right thing around schools.
City of Orange Traffic Committee Chair Russell Turner said he was saddened by how many people continued to flout the rules, putting children’s lives at risk.
“Double parking, or parking in a ‘No stopping’ zone might save a driver a few seconds but it could have serious consequences for children,” Cr Russell Turner said.
“After complaints from parents and teachers, our parking officers stepped up patrols at school zones throughout Orange during the first half of this year, and handed out a range of warning letters, information flyers and fines.
“It’s frustrating that despite these efforts, parents and carers keep doing the wrong thing and putting Orange’s school students at risk.”
Catherine McAuley school principal Michael Croke has welcomed extra council parking patrols near the school.
“We have made special efforts recently with Orange City Council to make sure our parents are aware of and adhere to the rules about where they can park,” Michael Croke said. “We still do have a very small minority of parents and carers who parallel park in the ‘No Stopping’ zone.”
“They’re trying to drop off their children right next to the pedestrian crossing. This blocks the view of other drivers, making it the most dangerous place to let their children out of the car.
“This is a dangerous practice, and potentially expensive if they go home with a parking ticket they could have avoided.”
Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School year 5 students Heath Vaughan and Darcy Franklyn said all students should be able to get to school safely.
“I know mums and dads can be busy, but we all just want to be safe when we’re coming to and from school,” Darcy Franklyn said.
“Even if it takes a few minutes longer, it’s so important for parents to take the extra time to park safely,” Heath Vaughan said.
Cr Russell Turner said parking officers had issued 400 fines in the last three months in school zones, but the council would prefer that school zones were safe and no one was fined.
“Orange City Council does not want to fine people, especially around schools,” Cr Turner said. “We’d much prefer people to do the right thing and keep everyone safe. “
“Earlier in the year Council released a media release and advertised on social media, detailing the school zone operation. Hundreds of verbal warnings, warning letters, and flyers have been handed out and parking officers have been positioned in high-visibility locations.
“Yet still people choose to put convenience ahead of the safety of children.
“Saving an extra few seconds by parking in a bus zone, or in a no stopping zone in front of a pedestrian crossing, double parking, parking on the footpath or obstructing driveways, isn’t worth the risk when the price could be an injury to a child.
“Our parking officers will continue to monitor school zones in a bid to keep our school kids and their families safe.”
The main offences around Orange school include:
- Stopping in no stopping zones. This obstructs the visibility of children on pedestrian crossings.
- Leaving vehicle in no parking zones. These are designated “kiss and go” areas. You must remain within 3 metres of your vehicle in these areas.
- Double parking. Double parking is stopping your vehicle between a parked vehicle and the centre of the road. Letting passengers in or out while the vehicle is double parked is dangerous. The passenger could be seriously injured if the vehicle is rear-ended while the passenger is getting in or out of the vehicle.
- Stopping in a bus zone. Bus zones are vital to avoid traffic congestion and to give passengers a safe area to get on and off buses.
- Stopping on the footpath or nature strip. Parking on the footpath forces pedestrians onto the road to walk around the vehicle.
- Parking in mobility spaces. Parking in a spot designated for people with mobility issues, without a valid permit, forces people who need to use these spaces to park somewhere which could cause them considerable difficulty.
- Parking in driveways or other access to land spaces. You may park in these to ‘kiss and go’. You may stop your vehicle briefly to allow passengers to get in or out of the vehicle. You must be within three metres of your vehicle.
All of these offences carry significant fines of between $187 and $561. All of these offences carry a loss of at least one demerit points.