Concerns that parents are placing their children at serious risk by parking across the road of a busy three lane roadway outside a Letterkenny National school have been raised.
The issue was highlighted by Councillor Bernard McGuinness at a meeting of Donegal’s Joint Policing Committee in Lifford last Friday afternoon.
He said impatient parents of children attending Lurgybrack National School are not waiting to use the set down area provided at the school, forcing some children to cross the roadway.
Lurgybrack NS is one of the 3% of the 202 Donegal schools located on a main road governed by a 100km speed limit. Cllr. McGuinness now wants action taken against those parents who drop their kids off across the road from the school.
At Friday’s meeting, he asked how many schools in the county did not have off-road parking. The Fine Gael councillor said the situation at Lurgybrack school was bad and suggested hat actions should be taken against parents who park across the road from the school to pick up or drop off their children.
“Action should be taken against parents. They (the school authorities) worked to get parking and it is just a matter of waiting your turn,” he said.
“But they (the parents) are risking their children. It should that nobody parks across the road from the school.”
Committee chairman, Cllr. Patrick McGowan, said in his experience, “90% of the problems outside schools are the parents.”
The group were given a presentation on schools road safety and traffic management by Road Safety Officer, Eamonn Browne.
He said 20% of local schools still have concerns about speeding on nearby road-ways and said approximately seven Donegal schools are based in 100km zones in the county.
Over the last three years he said 15 accidents had been reported outside schools while 16 “near misses” were recorded.
Among the safety measures he proposed were improved road markings and signage as well as a “life long learning” approach to road safety education.
Mr Browne said part of this involved focusing on people who park on double yellow lines to drop children off and are “putting children at risk”.
Garda Superintendent Vincent O’Brien said gardai were still involved with the school warden training programme for schools in 30km per hour zones and interested schools can contact them for more information.