School-run rogues to be prosecuted by Havering Council

Cllr Meg Davis

Cllr Meg Davis - Credit: Archant

Dangerous school-run drivers who persistently ignore safety pleas could be prosecuted under pioneering new laws brought in by Havering Council.

The authority will use new “local law” powers to install CCTV cameras in areas outside primary schools with £100 fines given each time a car parks there outside of permitted hours. After three offences, they will be taken to court.

The council is hoping it will prove more of a deterrent than parking tickets, which Streetcare boss Steve Moore says some parents are happy to pay for the convenience.

“We get many emails and calls about parking but they’re not complaints, they are pleas from worried people,” he explained. “A minority of parents absolutely refuse to comply with any requests from the school or enforcement officers.

“There will be a serious accident if it continues.”

In the last year 1,200 tickets have been brandished outside primary schools and the council and headteachers have come up with action plans, including drop-off points, road closures and volunteer enforcement officer schemes, which have been piloted in Thurrock.

The consensus is Havering schools prefer PSPOs, which will require two cameras per zone costing £14,000 to buy or £6,000 to rent, but remove confrontation. In these cases, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) could be used to stop residents who live within the zones being fined.

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Mr Moore said driving on the pavement and performing three-point-turns in cul-de-sacs were examples of the dangers to children. He once witnessed a dad let his children out of a slow-moving car to avoid getting a ticket for illegal parking.

He also said the council’s enforcement officers suffer terrible abuse and last week an enforcement car was spat on outside Broadford Primary School, Faringdon Avenue, Harold Hill.

Broadford, Parsonage Farm, Ardleigh Green, Wykeham and Engayne will trial the scheme.

Cllr Meg Davis, cabinet member for education, said: “School numbers are increasing. It’s not going to get better if we ignore it, it will just get worse.

“It is a challenge to get kids into school but we’re going to have to change attitudes.”