Improving road safety near schools

Northumberland County Council's enforcement vehicle.
Northumberland County Council's enforcement vehicle.

Northumberland County Council has been using its parking enforcement vehicle to help improve road safety outside the county’s schools.

Since the introduction of the vehicle last year, 117 penalty charge notices have been issued to vehicles parking on the School Keep Clear restrictions and its presence has been well-received by parents and teachers.

The vehicle is equipped with a camera and was introduced in response to concerns raised regarding dangerous parking outside of school grounds.

The council received complaints relating to inconsiderate parking, child safety and speeding outside of schools, and by working with parents, schools and local residents, the enforcement vehicle was introduced to monitor the traffic to ensure child safety.

The presence of the vehicle encourages parents and carers to think carefully and act responsibly when parking outside a school at busy drop-off and pick-up times.

Research has shown that driver behaviour around schools improves when it is reinforced through the visible presence of enforcement staff.

The parking enforcement vehicle is highly visible and therefore helps to reinforce this good behaviour.

Paul Jones, the council’s director for local services and housing delivery, said: “We are constantly working to improve road safety, especially around schools, and while the majority of people act responsibly, there are a minority of drivers whose actions create an increased road safety risk.

“The introduction of the enforcement vehicle has resulted in positive improvements in road safety, with many schools noticing a direct impact as a result of the enforcement vehicle routinely visiting their area.”