School-run parents in Torbay warned 'obey parking rules or face £70 penalty'
Thousands of parents in Devon have been issued with warning letters about the dangers of illegal parking outside school gates.
Torbay Council said it would be taking action "some time" after the half-term holiday following several near misses during the school run.
It has written to parents of 8,500 pupils at 30 primary schools across the Bay to remind them of their responsibility to find a safe place to park at school times saying "zigzags and double yellow lines outside schools are there for a reason".
The letter from the council's road safety team also warned that enforcement of parking restrictions around schools would take place in the coming weeks. Anyone who is issued with a penalty charge will have to pay £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days.
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Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Road safety officer Bev Hannah said: "The safety of our children and their parents is paramount.
"We are aware of several near misses involving children and cars in the vicinity of schools during the school run. Thankfully no one has been hurt, and we are determined to do everything we can to maintain this safety record.
"We have also had serious concerns expressed to us by several schools and parents. They are unhappy about the actions of people who fail to observe the parking restrictions, and have asked us to take action.
"We share those concerns and decided to take this opportunity to raise public awareness, backed by enforcement of the restrictions."
Councillor Robert Excell, executive lead for safer communities and transport, said he hoped the letters would hit home.
"We are grateful to all those people who observe the yellow zigzags and double yellow lines which are there for a very good reason, that is everyone's safety," Coun Excell said. "However, we are disappointed that there are still some others who do not comply with the law, putting public safety at risk.
"As our letter points out, there is a popular misconception that motorists are allowed five minutes' parking on double yellow lines in order to drop off or collect children from school.
"We are currently focusing our attention on primary schools. However, we would point out that there are also yellow zigzags and double yellow lines at our secondary schools which must also be observed.
"We hope people will heed our warning and road safety advice. We have no wish to issue penalty charge notices, so we hope that people understand the message, park safely and legally, and avoid paying the penalty."