It may be the cardinal sin of poor parking, but a growing number of parents are willing to risk child safety by stopping on zig-zag lines on the school run.
A study conducted by AXA Car Insurance revealed that 27 per cent of parents happily admit to flouting the parking restrictions, which are put in place to reduce the risk of children being run over outside busy school gates.
This behaviour is increasingly being seen as acceptable as competition for parking outside schools during the morning and afternoon rushes gets ever fiercer. The survey found that over a third of parents see stopping on zig-zag lines as acceptable, with 90 per cent saying they witness it at least once a week.
"Many parents may feel there is little danger in stopping or parking on zig-zag lines for a short time, however an increase in the number of parked cars near schools could affect the safety of child pedestrians."
The findings are backed up by the increased number of fixed-penalty notices issued. In 2011, 14,564 tickets were given for parking on zig-zag lines nationwide. By 2013 that figure had risen by a staggering 93 per cent to 28,169.
James Barclay, of AXA Car Insurance, said: “The findings released today by our RoadSafe Schools campaign will strike a chord with many parents who are concerned about the safety of their children, especially during busy school run periods. All motorists have a duty to practise responsible driving; however, in many cases, parents can be their own worst enemies.”
AXA’s research also highlighted a significant level of ignorance over zig-zag line rules, with fewer than one in five respondents correctly stating that they prohibited stopping or waiting during school times.
A fifth of parents thought that if they were only dropping off their children or stopping for less than a minute, that it was acceptable to park their car on zig-zag lines during school hours.
Mr Barclay continued: “Road safety is vitally important. Many parents may feel there is little danger in stopping or parking on zig-zag lines for a short time.
"However an increase in the number of parked cars near schools could affect the safety of child pedestrians. We want to encourage parents to carefully consider where they park – remembering to park further away from school drop-off areas may be a little thing, but it will mean a lot to the safety of children.”