Spy car to trap illegal parent parking at schools due to be launched

Children and staff at King Edward Primary School in Mansfield had campaigned over traffic problems outside the school.

Children and staff at King Edward Primary School in Mansfield had campaigned over traffic problems outside the school.

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Persistent parents who park illegally outside of schools are being threatened with fines with a special spy car set to be put into operation.

The vehicle, fitted with cameras, will hit the streets in the coming weeks to target those who park on zig-zag or double yellow lines outside schools when dropping their children off.

The car is part of a road safety initiative by Nottinghamshire County Council which also includes further 20mph zones outside of schools.

The transport and highways committee voted to buy the specially-adapted vehicle after a successful trial in November.

The council said the more traditional methods of catching illegally-parked motorists - using traffic wardens - was inefficient and ineffective because parents tend to only park for a few minutes at a time.

But with the new vehicle now in place driving around Mansfield and Ashfield, badly-parked parents could be snapped without knowing as the CCTV car passes.

District and county councillor, Steve Garner, has warned parents not to get caught out.

He said: “It can drive anywhere, and it will be coming around.

“If you are six inches over the yellow line or just sat for a couple of minutes, the next you will know about it will be a letter.

“You won’t be able to fight it either, because I know I’ll get people from my ward coming to me asking to help them and I won’t be able to.

“I don’t want any of my residents getting a ticket, I’m sure it’s money they could spend elsewhere.

“However, safety has to come first, and parking around schools is a problem.

“It’s not like if you see a traffic warden, you can drive off.

“This vehicle will just go down the street, take a photo and you wouldn’t even know until you get the fine a few weeks later.”

The council says the primary purpose of using a car-based enforcement system is not to raise revenue but to address the problem of dangerous and inconsiderate parking near schools.

Those caught out will be given a £70 penalty notice.

However, this can be reduced by half if paid within 14 days.