Case study school parking fines
Case study school parking fines

Parents rack up $35k parking fines in one week

Parents at a Sydney high school have accused the local council of exploiting confusing parking restrictions at a nearby construction site after parents racked up tens of thousands of dollars in parking fees in just one week.

Woolooware High School principal Mardi Benson wrote to parents on March 5 she had been informed the council had fined in excess of 100 parents in just one week.

"Sutherland Shire Council (SSC) has contacted us this morning with advice that over 100 cars have been booked this week dropping students to school," she said.

 

Parents at Woolooware High School in the Shire have copped 100 fines in a week for dropping kids off in bus zones. Picture: Toby Zerna
Parents at Woolooware High School in the Shire have copped 100 fines in a week for dropping kids off in bus zones. Picture: Toby Zerna

But parents said the council was taking advantage of confusing parking conditions around the school Cronulla Sharks Leagues Club redevelopment adjacent to the school to raise revenue.

One parent from the school said parking inspectors were catching parents breaching parking restrictions from a distance, rather than speaking to them about safety.

She was fined doing the school drop off after she let her child out in a bus zone that the school had identified in a map as a "drop off" zone.

She said she was caught out by a council ranger with a camera positioned near a tree some distance away.

A spokesman for Sutherland Shire Council told The Daily Telegraph said they were trying to protect the children.

"Council staff do not use long lens cameras in the execution of their duties, however they do use digital cameras as required for evidence and any subsequent court proceedings," he said.

The council said it had issued 81 $344 penalty notices for drivers caught stopping in a bus lane at the school since the beginning of the year.

 

Parking rules around Woolooware High School, where parents have been fined an estimated $35,000 in just one week. Picture: Supplied.
Parking rules around Woolooware High School, where parents have been fined an estimated $35,000 in just one week. Picture: Supplied.

A detailed map issued to parents with the letter said there were four additional parking restrictions zones outside the school - and said the bus zone could be used to drop off children, but only between 8am and 9.30am and parents must stop in "the first 13 metres on the left after the school gates".

The council said it had conducted "additional information sessions at the school location to ensure parents and motorists are kept well informed of any necessary changes to parking facilities and traffic movement through the area."

One parent doing the school drop off was fined when they dropped them in a bus zone that the school later identified as a "drop off" zone.

She said she was caught out by a council ranger with a camera positioned near a tree some distance away.

Sutherland Shire council has so far this financial year issued 679 fines in schools zones totalling $210,636 - already eclipsing the council's revenue from fines in schools last year where 648 parents were fined a collective $186,834.

An Education Department spokesman said it requests road users to adhere to the traffic rules and arrangements around schools.

"NSW public schools, including Woolooware High School, regularly remind parents about traffic arrangements and rules around their schools," he said.

Mum Melissa Holnes yesterday told The Daily Telegraph the construction site had made dropping children off confusing for parents.

"It is unfair particularly with road works for (the council) to be nabbing parents but it is a revenue raiser," she said.

"Parents are busy, they probably just need clear signage."


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