Crackdown on motorists in school zones
FOLLOWING a barrage of complaints about potentially hazardous non-compliance of traffic in school zones, police officers have been taking part in a crackdown around local schools leaving some with fines.
Police and highway patrol officers, in conjunction with Coffs Harbour City Council, have been responding to concerns regarding motorists stopping in 'no parking' and 'no stopping' zones particularly around schools including St Augustines, Kororo Public, Toormina Public and Coffs Harbour Public.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Supervisor Sergeant Jarrod Langan stressed the importance of the message to be heeded by the handful of parents and carers who fail to comply with road rules.
"There has been quite a lot of fines. It's about warning people, and encouraging people to move along... we want to get the message out to parents to stagger times when picking up people if they can."
"There's been a large number of people trying to get into a very small area very quickly so if we can stagger out pick up times that would be great.
"We'll be liaising with schools and the council as a partnership to coordinate a plan and make that happen."
Police and highway patrol officers will be monitoring school zones in the next coming months to ensure the safety of children entering and leaving school.
Penalties for offences in school zones are higher than elsewhere, and include the loss of demerit points. Stopping in a 'no stopping' zone incurs a $325 fine and the loss of two demerit points, while stopping in 'no parking' incurs a $180 fine and the loss of two demerit points.
Sgt Langan said motorists are often confused with the regulations involved with 'no parking' zones.
"You can stop in a 'no parking' zone for the purpose of picking up or dropping off persons or groups. You must remain three metres within the vehicle and you can't be stopped in that spot for any more than 2 minutes," he said.
Local schools have also been playing an important part in spreading the message to parents and carers particularly through newsletter campaigns.
"Unfortunately, there are still some parents and carers still not heeding this message so enforcement is the next step," said Sgt Langan.