If you tackle the school run in the Stoke-on-Trent area, be careful where you leave your car, as the city has invested in a second CCTV camera car to crack down on illegal parking outside schools.
The £74,000 vehicle – a modified Toyota iQ – will initially patrol outside primary schools in the Hanley area, and will capture video evidence of illegal parking simply by driving past offending vehicles. Parking charge notices are issued later by post once the footage has been analysed.
Stoke-on-Trent council claims that it has received 633 calls for greater parking enforcement outside schools in the past two years, which has led to the significant investment in a new camera car.
To ram the message home to inconsiderate parents, a hard-hitting poster campaign, depicting a child injured in a road collision, will be run outside schools in the area.
The council’s first CCTV car has proved its worth, raking in £457,000 in parking fines in its four years of operation, though the council has denied using the technology as a revenue generator.
Deputy council leader Paul Shotton told the Stoke Sentinel: "We are receiving a large increase in requests for enforcement from schools due to illegal and unsafe parking outside their gates.
"With all schools asking for enforcement at the same time, we can't meet all demand and currently have a four-week waiting list.
"The CCTV car will be used to ensure the safety of our children going to and from school and will help us to reduce the safety risks caused by illegal and inconsiderate parking. This is absolutely not about making money by fining motorists."
Drivers caught parking on zig-zag lines, pedestrian crossings or other restricted areas will receive a £70 fine.
The news has received support from parents, despite the fact that they are the motorists being targeting by the new vehicle.
"The school has ample parking spaces but some people are only interested in dropping their children off as close to the gates as possible, with some even performing dangerous three-point turns which put their car on the pavement where children are going in and out,” said mother-of-four Tracy Forrester to the Sentinel.
"The camera car is fantastic because it will be a deterrent for parents and no-one will want to get a £70 fine.
"All these people dropping children off at the school have passed their driving tests and know the correct and legal way to park, so there is no excuse.”
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