Parents who “race” to drop their children off at school in the mornings are being urged to be more considerate of road safety.
A debate in the House of Commons on traffic controls outside schools heard that some parents may be ignoring road rules and putting others at risk, simply to get their kids to class on time.
MPs were told that some parents, particularly those who leave late, are causing a danger to other road users by parking on double yellow lines or even up on the pavement on the school run.
During the debate, the issue was described as “vitally important” by Transport Minister Robert Goodwill, who said that measures should be available to help with parking rule enforcement.
The Minister also stated that problems are growing due to the increased popularity of large SUV and crossover models, which can make it harder for some drivers to manoeuvre and see where they’re going.
Pete Williams, head of external affairs for the RAC, said: “We recognise that many parents need to drive and juggle family and work commitments. But it is the responsibility of everyone to be mindful of the added danger speed and extra traffic around the school gates poses for our children.
“In an ideal world we should all be trying to make a change and walking or cycling to school, but that is not always practical.
“Many communities have instigated 20mph zones around schools and the RAC’s Report on Motoring 2014 found that 91% of drivers, and 95% of those with children, support these lower limits.”
This follows from research released by motoring charity Brake last week, who found that two in five British children have either been hit or nearly hit by a car while on foot or on a bike.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, said: “When drivers use roads without care for others, the consequences can be tragic and horrific.
“That’s why, instead of making our streets stressful, risky places, we’re asking all road users to look out for and protect each other, particularly the most vulnerable.”
Protection for young people
The Institute of Advanced Motorists also recently released a manifesto stating that too many young people die on British roads, and urged for an improvement in road safety measures.
Proposals outlined by the Institute included the need for government to tighten control on road risk policies and for more road safety awareness modules to be introduced into school curriculums.
In response to the amount of road tragedies, the government announced last month that it is to set up a new system of watchdogs and regulatory bodies to ensure change, which will be effective as of next year.