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Parking Enforcement to Commence Around Schools

Moree Plains Shire Council are advising local residents that Council Officers will be patrolling and enforcing school zones to ensure the safety of local children.

Moree Plains Shire Council's Director Planning and Community Development, Angus Witherby said the parking patrols are part of Council's School Safety Program which enforces parking regulations such as 'no stopping' zones, double parking, 'no parking' zones, bus zones, disabled parking requirements and more.

Children's safety around schools is paramount. Children can be unpredictable and are vulnerable in the traffic environment. We know that school zones are very busy and congested, with buses, cars, bicycles and pedestrians. We would like to ensure that no child is injured whilst travelling to and from school, hence Council Officers will be conducting random parking patrols to discourage illegal parking.

Parking rules are there to help keep our children safe. They protect sight distances, provide safe pick up and drop off opportunities and minimise confusion where children are crossing roads.

Fines apply for parking illegally and in some situations, demerit points also apply. Where necessary Council Officers will issue penalty infringement notices to drivers or vehicle owners found in breach of the road rules," Mr Witherby said.

Parking fines range from $180 to $433 and carry up to two demerit points.

Moree Plains Shire Council’s Road Safety Officer, Renee McMillan said that the two common parking signs around schools which seem to cause confusion about their proper use are 'no stopping' and 'no parking' signs.

'No Parking' zones in school zones are commonly known as 'kiss and drop' zones and are strictly used for the drop off of children attending school. 'No Parking' zones allow motorists to park for no longer than two minutes and remain within three metres of their vehicle.

If motorists use the 'No Parking' zones correctly it will improve traffic flow, relieve congestion and create a safer environment for local residents, especially children who are most at risk.

“'No stopping' means no stopping. 'No Stopping' signs are installed where there is a sight distance issue. Line of sight around schools is critical to both motorists and pedestrians alike. When vehicles obstruct that line of sight, tragedies occur, particularly with small children who are so difficult to see. As a consequence large penalties apply for breaches in 'No stopping' zones," Mrs McMillan said.

"To help ensure the safety of our school children we have done a lot of work consulting and advising on safety around schools. It is just too important to be flippant about, it is imperative that motorists comply. It would be our greatest desire not to have to issue any infringements as this would mean motorists are obeying the rules, so please take extra care in school zones," Mrs McMillan said.

Mrs McMillan advised that school zones were kept under active review, and at times changes were made to help them work better. “We are shortly to implement changes at Mungindi” she said “and request that the public obey the current signs in the meantime.

Any enquiry in relation to the implementation of the parking enforcement operations should be directed to Moree Plains Shire Council’s Planning and Community Development Department.