Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Parents parking at school

Fool, fool, come to school
Don't forget to break the rule.

When I was a child we played a game that started with singing this song.

It seems, now that many parents are happy to break the rules on a daily basis, when they drive to school. The park on the crossing. park in No Standing zones. Do U turns on the crossing. Park in the driveway. They seem to believe they need to park on the actual block of the school. Across the road isn't good enough. The next block isn't good enough. And if you stay in the car, or leave the engine running, they seem to think that means they aren't really breaking any road rules.

Our local school is quite small. The catchment area is quite small. Most families live in walking distance. However, few families walk to school. My kids would like to walk to school on their own, but I've seen so many drivers sail through the school crossing, I'm reluctant to let them walk on their own. Usually we cross with me holding onto them shouting 'It's a Crossing!'

We, the members of the P&C, have talked about this problem endlessly. We've rung the parking police, who move from school to school on a roster basis, fining parents, to have the problem improve for a day or two, then we are back to weeks of blatant law breaking. We've talked about taking their numberplates, taking photographs, having the children talk to them. We know that having the Principal talk to parents doesn't work - some parents tell her f off. We know that having notices in the newsletter and reminders about the penalties doesn't work. The same parents break the law on a daily basis.

I do address the parents when I see them park illegally. Every week I would talk to someone. i say. 'Do you know it is illegal to park on a crossing/ do a U turn over double yellow lines/ park across the driveway?' They usually look at me blankly and nod. But they don't move. Occasionally it makes a difference. I guess I just have to keep chipping away at it.

And I really wonder what these parents say to their children as they drop them off. Be good. Do what the teacher says. Be respectful. Follow the school rules. But the parent is doing the opposite.

This is what I'd really like to do. Using the Mayor Giuliani approach that people who break the law in one area usually believe they are above the law in another, I'd organise a tax audit for every parent who repeatedly breaks the road rules around the school. That would get their attention, hopefully before a child is killed. I know how you are!


Frances said...

I like your thinking. :-)

Cars and schools are a huge bugbear for me too!

Mel said...

Glad it's not just me pulling my hair out at the stupidity of parents at school!!! Drives me bonkers all the time but no matter how many get the message there is always more coming in to do the wrong thing!

Pip said...

Whatever you do there will still be people who do what is most convenient for them - that is human nature.

Our local public school has a new 120 space purpose built parent carpark, with additional drop off/pick up zone. Sounds ideal but there are still parents who choose to use the staff car park or park on the verge of a busy road to avoid driving a further 50m down the road to drop their kids off in the new car park.