CCTV car initiative sees hundreds of motorists fined for school run parking infringements

The car with the CCTV mounted unit
The car with the CCTV mounted unit

Two Boston schools are among seven across the county taking part in a pioneering new scheme to tackle illegal parking outside schools using a mobile CCTV unit mounted on a car.

Lincolnshire County Council says they are acting to stop irresponsible parking, which can put children at risk.

The trial CCTV enforcement initiative has seen hundreds of parents fined for school run parking infringements.

Boston West Academy and the town’s St Thomas School are among those taking part.

The county council says the use of the vehicle-mounted system provides better evidence of cars and other vehicles pulling to a halt on keep clear markings and helps ensure the evidence is robust.

Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: "We want to make sure local children can get to school safely. Irresponsible parking can put them at risk, and we need to put a stop to it.

"It can also massively inconvenience local residents, which isn't fair.”

An update given at a recent meeting of the county’s highways and transport scrutiny committee revealed that hundreds of parents had been.

At Boston West Academy, 40 drivers were caught and 18 were fined, and at St Thomas School 25 were caught and 8 fined.

The other schools taking part were William Alvey Primary School in Sleaford (110 penalties handed out to drivers for 152 offences),The Priory Witham in Lincoln (170 offences with 138 penalties issued), Sir Francis Hill School in Lincoln (31 caught and 18 fines issued), the National Junior School in Grantham (20 caught, but nobody fined), and Leslie Manser Primary School in Lincoln (25 caught and 10 fined).

Councillors agreed to extend the scheme by a further 12 months and set up a working group to look at how to move forward.

Cllr Davies said the CCTV van had proven to be a successful tool in the fight against the problem of thoughtless parking.

"Our parking wardens already patrol outside schools, but it can often be difficult for them to take action, as parents drop their children off and leave before they can issue a ticket,” he said.

"With the CCTV van we can record vehicles parking illegally, capture the registration number and send their owner a ticket through the post.

"Hopefully, that will make them think twice about breaking the rules.

"The results of the pilot have been fairly positive so far."

A total of £15,784 has been raised in fines, but the scheme cost £20,506 to operate.

After the meeting, councillor Michael Brookes said: ““There are some issues coming out of the schools. One of the main things is that while the CCTV vehicle is there everything’s fine because people obey the regulations.

"As soon as it goes, they’re parking back on the zig zag lines again.

“This is a problem outside all of the schools so do we need other measures? Do we need to be painting double yellow lines outside schools so they can be picked up by Civil Parking Enforcement officers?”

Councillors were told a number of other solutions had been looked at as the scheme progressed, including the installation of six fixed cameras.

However, that could have cost in the region of £125,000 plus staffing costs.

The meeting was also told a second vehicle had not been considered but was said not to be ‘financially viable or practical’ for the current scheme due to the limited number of sites.