Warnings & Fines to Protect Child Safety at Byron Shire Schools

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BYRON SHIRE Council’s Director Sustainable Environment & Economy, Shannon Burt, said parking officers will be at local schools next term, issuing warnings and fines.

Parents dropping off and picking up children at school are reminded to use the designated school parking areas to maximise safety for the entire school community.

“Staff were at several schools prior to the school holidays improving safety awareness amongst drivers on where they could and couldn’t park during school drop off and pickup times.

“While we appreciate it can be a very busy time at schools during these times, parking safely in the right location is a priority.  Not doing so can put children’s lives at risk.

“The majority of people are using the right areas, but there are some who feel they can double park or park in the bus zones.

“This is a reminder that parking incorrectly puts children at risk as often it causes additional congestion and lines of site are obscured.

“People caught double parking and in bus zones will be fined,” Ms Burt said.

Dropping children off a little earlier or later, parking further away from the school and walking a child to the gate, or carpooling, are good ways to avoid the traffic queue.

“Unfortunately, some people feel they have a right to disregard the signs and regulations. And if you are found parking incorrectly, you could end up with a $439 fine and 2 demerit points lost,” Ms Burt cautioned.

“Probably the most significant ‘Safety Reminder’ may well be that a single vehicle can obstruct a large bus and have a ripple affect on the subsequent traffic and safety conditions lasting way beyond the original event. Small indiscretions can have a large impact on the safety of buses, cars and their passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.”

General safety reminders:
         Always take extra care in 40km/h school zones, which operate on each gazetted school day.
         Park safely even if it means walking further to the school gate.
         Observe all parking signs – they are planned with children’s safety in mind.
         Fines and demerit points apply if you park illegally.
         Never double park – it puts children at risk.
         Model safe and considerate behaviour for your child – they will learn from you.
         Slow down near the school crossing.
         At a supervised crossing, observe the directions of the school crossing supervisor.

REMEMBER: Losses of demerit points apply when certain offences are committed in an operating school zone. For example, a minimum penalty of a $439 fine and the loss of 2 demerit points apply for stopping or parking a vehicle on or near a pedestrian crossing, children’s crossing and marked foot crossing.

School zones penalties include:
         Stop in a bus zone (in school zone) – $330 and 2 demerit points.
         Stop in bus zone(not clearway or transit/bus lane) –  $257 no demerit points.
         Double park in school zone – $330 and 2 demerit points.
         Stop on/near children’s crossing (in school zone) – $439 and 2 demerit points.
         Disobey no stopping sign (in school zone) – $330 and 2 demerit points
         Disobey no parking sign (in school zone) – $183 and 2 demerit points.

For more information call Parking Enforcement Supervisor, Tony Lucas, on 6626 7000.
Pictured is Council’s Parking Enforcement Officer, Dan Shilling, outside Mullumbimby Public School, ready to remind parents to put children’s safety first when parking.

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