Locals cop $200 fines for dropping off kids

[author]Hans Lovejoy[/author]

‘Gutless and rude,’ is what one mother says of the police officer who issued her a no-stopping fine via police camera this week.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was dropping off her daughter at the ­Carlisle Street entrance to Byron Public School when she spotted a police car.

‘I knew something was up when he parked behind me.

‘He then followed me into town; I thought it was odd, so I pulled over, at which point he also pulled over. I then got out of the car to walk towards him but then he sped off.

‘After discovering my fine in the post it was obvious he was photographing parents who were dropping kids off.

‘It’s a disgrace and undermines all the good work the police do. This shouldn’t be allowed and they should find other means to collect revenue.’

Byron Shire Council executive manager of community infrastructure Phil Holloway told The Echo the ‘No Stopping’ signs in Carlyle Street have been in place for over a year.

‘Carlyle Street is a no through street.

‘The “No Stopping” signage is required to ensure parked vehicles do not block the narrow road for other users, which is especially required at busy times such as school pick up and drop off.’

Existing signs ‘appropriate’

Mr Holloway says that the existing signs are appropriate and, like all regulatory signage, require the approval of the Local Traffic Committee.

‘The Committee is an RTA requirement and includes the RTA along with Council staff, the local police and councillors.

‘If a person would like a traffic sign to be changed, a request needs to be submitted to Council which will then be tabled to the traffic committee who would then make a recommendation to Council for determination.’

Mr Holloway said there are several established pick up zones around Byron Primary School.

‘The school is adjacent to four streets, all of which provide car parking and, as always, it is recommended that people read and comply with the signage,’ he said.

The Echo understands that the $200 fines have also been issued to other parents of the school.

‘At peak pick up/drop off times the whole street can be a grid locked mayhem of double parked cars,’ the woman says, ‘especially since the whole of Middleton Street and its parking has been closed off while the new library is being built.

‘On one occasion I found myself a traffic controller in order to free the traffic.

‘I’d like to see the police officer responsible for this try and dish out fines in this situation.

‘Parking and access to the school is a major problem, but I feel it’s unfair for local authorities to punish parents.

‘Anyone who’s driven down this street will see that there is plenty of room for cars to get by safely, if the line up of parents illegally waiting or stopping for their children were limited to the school side of the street.

‘I suggest an airport style “mum’s taxi rank” instead of the current “No Stopping zone” on the school side of the street which is clearly designed to raise revenue unfairly.’

Photo and digital bastardry Hans Lovejoy

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Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

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