Motorists are being reminded of the importance of parking and driving safely around Sunderland’s schools.

In a city-wide campaign, thousands of pupils and parents are receiving ‘smarter parking’ messages.

The campaign – which is part of National Road Safety Week – has seen staff from Sunderland City Council visiting schools and distributing leaflets.

The leaflets stress how poor parking might put children’s lives at risk. The leaflets urge drivers:

  • Not to park on ‘keep clear’ road markings
  • Not to park on yellow zigzags or lines
  • Not to double park

The leaflet also highlights the dangers of parking on the pavement. This can cause problems for pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, those with visual impairments, and people with prams and pushchairs.

Cars on pavements can also lead to children walking onto the road, putting them in danger from oncoming traffic.

Around 8,000 ‘smarter parking’ leaflets are being given out via Sunderland’s schools and academies.

Sunderland City Council’s assistant director of infrastructure and transport, Mark Jackson, said, “Parking responsibly helps keep your children safe and reduces congestion around the school gates and nearby properties.”

“If you park irresponsibly, there is a danger to others and you can be penalised.”

Since 2013, the council have been running road safety camera car patrols during term time. Last year, 347 people were issued with penalty charge notices for failing to park properly around schools.

Mr Jackson said, “The ‘smarter parkers’ message is reminding all drivers to think more carefully when near schools.”

“Parents can sometimes be tempted to park where they shouldn’t when they’re in a hurry, late for work, don’t want their children to get wet in bad weather and because ‘it’s only for a moment’.”

“By parking where you shouldn’t, you are potentially putting your own and other people’s children at risk.”

(This article’s featured image shows Charlie Hebron and Poppy Dobyn – pupils at Newbottle Primary Academy – spreading the ‘smarter parking’ message.)

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