A Road Safety education campaign kicked off on 14 July at Usworth Colliery Primary School in Washington.
It will then be rolled out to other primary schools across Washington which have been identified as a priority.
The campaign is being funded through the Washington Area Committee, which recognises that road safety around schools is a key issue for residents.
As part of the campaign, junior road safety officers will be appointed for each primary school to be ambassadors for road safety. They will spread messages and promote safe travel and safe parking to pupils, parents and carers.
The identified schools will also distribute letters to parents reminding them of parking restrictions and parents will be encouraged to make a ‘no parking’ pledge and walk to school where possible.
Northumbria Police attended the event to highlight the issues of how poor parking can potentially endanger the safety of children and discuss concerns about motorists exceeding speed limits within the 20mph School Zone on a stretch of Manor Road.
Councillor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Council Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Parking restrictions outside of schools exist for a reason; to keep children safe as they enter and leave school.
“Parents can be tempted to park where they shouldn’t when they’re in a hurry, because ‘it’s only for a moment’, but inconsiderate and dangerous parking puts the safety of children, pedestrians and drivers at risk. Cars parking on School Keep Clear road markings cause visibility issues for people crossing the road to get to and from schools.”
“We know this has caused concerns for parents, residents and teachers and we hope that this new road safety campaign will raise awareness of the problem and remind everyone of the importance of parking safely.”
“Anyone who parks irresponsibly is a danger to others and can be penalised.”
Chair of the Washington Area Committee, Councillor Len Lauchlan, said: “We know Washington residents are concerned about the issue of irresponsible parking outside schools. It puts the safety of parents and school children at risk, but it can also cause an inconvenience and an obstruction for all road users in the area.
“I am delighted to see this campaign launch today, where the Washington Area Committee can work hand in hand with schools, the council and the police to put an end to dangerous parking.”
Drivers are reminded:
• Don’t park on the ‘keep clear’ road markings
• Don’t park on yellow zig-zags or lines
• Don’t double-park.