Drivers risk causing ‘preventable death’ by parking near school gates, says councillor

Forth Valley police, councillor David Balfour and road safety poster design winner Adam Keltie asked drivers not to park near school gates
Forth Valley police, councillor David Balfour and road safety poster design winner Adam Keltie asked drivers not to park near school gates

Drivers in the Falkirk district are being urged to avoid parking outside school gates or risk causing the “preventable death of a child”.

The warning was sounded by Grangemouth councillor David Balfour, who has stressed the need to protect youngsters across the region by reducing the number of vehicles in such areas.

Police have also called on parents to plan ahead and find alternative drop-off or pick-up points to reduce the potential for accidents.

The pleas follow on from a regional school poster design competition which saw more than 1200 pupils come up with banners to promote road safety measures.

An entry by then Beancross Primary pupil Aiden Keltie, titled Even if You’re Late, Don’t Park at the Gate, was selected as the winner.

Reminding motorists of the wording of the winning design, Councillor Balfour has warned that anyone who chooses to ignore the message from police and leave their car in a marked zone risks causing an accident.

Mr Balfour is now demanding drivers find more suitable places to park when either dropping off or collecting children.

He said: “We had 1205 kids who were involved in the contest and the winning picture was made into a banner.

“There has been some improvement but there are still some persistent offenders that park on zigzag or double yellow lines at or near the school gates, or over residents’ driveways or on the pavements.

“It is a great worry that these actions will result in the preventable injury or death of a child. I’m just asking people to park sensibly.”

Mr Balfour insists a significant part of the problem lies with drivers only avoiding parking in such places when police are present.

He continued: “The police do come along when they’ve got the time to but as soon as they’re not there people park on the lines.

“I think every school has these problems but Beancross Primary and Moray Primary in Grangemouth seem to be the worst affected.

“There has been some improvement but there are still some drivers that park right at the school gates.

“This puts our children’s safety at risk and has to stop.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Road safety and casualty reduction is one of Forth Valley Division’s top priorities and officers work closely with partners across Falkirk to ensure motorists drive and park responsibly, particularly around schools.

“Initiatives which enhance road safety and promote responsible driving practices are welcomed and community police officers continue to engage with communities, partners and relevant agencies that wish to get involved.”