A five-day operation aimed at educating the public about safe parking around schools in Leighton Buzzard took place last week.
Bedfordshire Police, with support from partners at the Central Beds Council and fire service, patrolled the areas of Clipstone Brook Lower School, Brooklands Middle School and Leedon Lower School to tackle obstructive parking.
Operation Safe Cross was aimed at educating motorists parking around schools about how dangerous it can be.
The force sent 14 letters to vehicle owners spotted parked incorrectly, to educate them about the potential tragic consequences of their parking.
Additionally nine verbal warnings were issued to the drivers present during the operation’s patrols in the area.
PC Edward Ruston, from the Leighton Buzzard Community Policing Team, said: “We understand that at certain times parking around schools can be limited as parents and guardians want to drop children off to school on time.
“But we have to remember that road markings and restrictions in those areas are there for a reason.
“It is extremely dangerous, especially in peak hours, to park in a way that obstructs the view of drivers and pedestrians alike, especially by schools where young children are attempting to cross the road.
“It only takes a second for a tragedy to occur and for a child to lose a life. Additionally it is important to keep the road clear to allow easy access for emergency service vehicles like fire engines and ambulances.
“We would like to ask parents and guardians to consider parking further away, and have a brief walk to school with their children. Allow yourself slightly more time and respect the restrictions where they occur. Children’s safety should be everyone’s priority.”
Claire Kingham, from Central Bedfordshire Council Road Safety Team, said: “We would like to thank the Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSO) from Clipstone Brook Lower School for helping with Operation Safe Cross.
“The purpose of the JRSO scheme is to involve children and young people in promoting road safety at their school. The JRSOs who took part in the operation thoroughly enjoyed promoting an awareness of road safety to both children and adults alike. They also enjoyed highlighting the importance of considerate parking and not parking on roads with restrictions on them to parents.”
Leighton Buzzard Station Commander Rob Hulatt said: “Please be considerate when parking your car. Poorly parked cars restrict pedestrians vision as they attempt to cross the roads, as well as, hinder the progress of emergency vehicles attending serious incidents.
“Before parking, drivers should think about how they would feel if a poorly parked car comprised the safety of one of their family members.
“The message to the public is to think about where and how you park, inconsiderate parking could potentially put people’s lives at risk.”
What’s your experience of parking outside these school, or others in LBO land? Email firstname.lastname@example.org