New figures published today by AXA Car insurance highlight the extent of the problem of parents parking on ‘zig-zag’ lines outside schools, and suggest that prosecutions for the offence are on the increase.
In the AXA study of 2,000 parents who drive their children to school, 35% of respondents said it is acceptable to stop or park on school safety zig-zag lines, and 27% admitted to doing so. 88% of respondents said they have witnessed fellow motorists stopping on the zig-zag area at least once a week.
20% of respondents said that if they were ‘just dropping off’ it is acceptable to stop on zig-zag lines, and 13% thought it acceptable if they were ‘stopping for less than a minute’.
AXA also says there is “significant confusion” about what the ‘keep clear’ zone near school entrances mean. Only 17% correctly responded ‘No stopping or parking during school run times’ when asked to define the meaning of a zig-zag line.
A FOI request to 491 local authorities (421 responded) revealed that the number of fixed penalty notices given in the past three years for parking on zig-zags has risen significantly – from 14,564 in 2011 to 28,169 in 2013, an increase of 93%.
AXA says that despite the increase, the total figure is significantly lower than the number of offences. The insurer says that “considering there are 30,000 schools in the UK, it equates to less than one ticket per school per year whereas the number of offences is expected to be far higher than a conservative estimate of 1.2 million per year”.
James Barclay, of AXA Car Insurance, commented: “These findings will strike a chord with many parents who are concerned about the safety of their children, especially during busy school run periods.
“All motorists have a duty to practise responsible driving; however, in many cases, parents can be their own worst enemies.
“Many parents may feel there is little danger in stopping or parking on zig-zag lines for a short time, however an increase in the number of parked cars near schools could affect the safety of child pedestrians.”