‘Be a Smarter Parker’ campaign for safer school parking launches across Tyne and Wear

The ‘Be a Smarter Parker’ campaign by Go Smarter, Tyne and Wear’s sustainable travel programme, aims to highlight the dangers of illegal parking outside schools which puts children at risk.

View the Be a Smarter Parker campaign video here: http://bit.ly/1FXucjo

A brand new campaign aimed at educating parents about road safety and parking outside schools has launched in Tyne and Wear.

The ‘Be a Smarter Parker’ campaign by Go Smarter, Tyne and Wear’s sustainable travel programme, aims to highlight the dangers of illegal parking outside schools which puts children at risk.

Parents are increasingly parking or stopping in ‘keep clear’ areas - single and double yellow-lined roads and yellow zig-zag lined areas - which are specifically designed to provide children with a clear view of the road when crossing.

Parking in such a way inhibits children’s lines of sight. Research carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Go Smarter shows that 43% of parents in the North East admit to parking on yellow zig-zag lines.

The ‘Be a Smarter Parker’ campaign aims to help keep children safe on their journeys to and from school by providing guidance to parents about how to park safely and legally near schools. The campaign will also highlight alternative ways to travel on the school run, like walking and cycling.

Mobile camera cars will be in use at schools in Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, South Tyneside and North Tyneside to monitor inappropriate parking and issue parking tickets where necessary. The ‘Be a Smarter Parker’ campaign has been designed to motivate parents to park appropriately in order to help keep children safe and to avoid parking charges.  

Councillor Nick Forbes, Transport Lead for the Combined Authority said: “I am concerned about road safety for children on their way to and from school.

“That is why we are running a campaign to crack down on inconsiderate parking which puts lives at risk. People aren’t always aware of the dangers it causes. A big part of the campaign is helping road users to understand why we have markings and mobile cameras outside the school gates; it’s to keep our children safe.

“Of course one of the solutions to this problem can be walking or cycling instead of taking the car to school. Our research shows this would cut congestion, reduce travel costs, boost health and fitness and make for a pleasanter journey. I would urge everyone to Go Smarter.”

Out of all the parents surveyed, 73% agreed that illegal parking by other drivers near school was frustrating. 75% believed a schools safety campaign would make a difference.

Go Smarter advises on alternatives to using the car. Hundreds of students in Tyne and Wear recently took part in the ‘Go the Extra Mile’ challenge, which encouraged school children to travel actively by walking or cycling to school.  

Go Smarter aims to cut congestion on Tyne and Wear’s roads at peak times. Encouraging more parents to walk, cycle or use public transport with their children would have a positive impact on road congestion and provide environmental and health benefits.