Drivers stung outside schools

COSTLY MISTAKE: Parking wardens issuing tickets outside schools as parents drop off children is becoming more common.
COSTLY MISTAKE: Parking wardens issuing tickets outside schools as parents drop off children is becoming more common.

Drivers dropping off and picking up kids from school are keeping a close watch for parking wardens.

From October 1, 2011, to October 31, 2012, a total of 6898 parking tickets were issued outside Auckland schools, with 2473 of them in West Auckland.

The three most ticketed schools were Papatoetoe High School, Avondale College and Lincoln Heights Primary.

Massey dad Matt Hewett has two kids going to Lincoln Heights Primary and he sees wardens in front of the school at least once a week.

"Parking on the side of the street opposite the school is completely banned from 8.30am to 9.30am and from 2.30pm to 3.30pm and I can understand why they don't want little kids to cross the road, but we need more parking," he says.

"There is a two-minute parking area in front of the school but they hit you as soon as you go over that time. I have been given a ticket for having one wheel touching a yellow line."

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan says it depends on the level of complaints they get as to how often parking wardens are posted outside schools.

The fine for parking on a broken yellow line is $60 and the fine for double parking or blocking a driveway is $40, which means that in West Auckland drivers have been fined between $98,920 and $148,380 during the past 13 months.

Anna Clay's daughter started school at Lincoln Heights in August and after only a couple of weeks Ms Clay had received a ticket.

"I mistakenly parked on the road opposite the school and took my daughter into school and when I came back the parking warden was putting a ticket under my wipers," she says.

"They did a big blitz just before and just after the holidays but I see them here all the time. All the parents are pretty wary of it."

Lincoln Heights principal Debbie Waikato says that during the past year she has not received any complaints about people parked illegally outside the school.

"We have not had discussions about posting parking wardens outside the school, that's something the council make decisions about. We have a lot of mobility vehicles that come in and out of the school and that has an effect on the parking we can offer parents," she says.

"We try to tell parents where they can and cannot park. We also have drop-off zones which are up to 1km away from the school where parents can leave their kids and a teacher will walk them to school. We are part of the TravelWise programme and we encourage parents to walk their kids to school," she says.

Western Leader