Kids' lives are put in danger

PUBLISHED: 10:24 15 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 17 June 2010

INCONSIDERATE drivers are putting children's lives at risk by flouting parking rules, police have said.

INCONSIDERATE drivers are putting children's lives at risk by flouting parking rules, police have said.Sergeant Andy Turner said: "There isn't a road with restrictions in Sidmouth that hasn't been complained about in the last 12 months."Offenders are blighting trade and causing problems with road safety."The latest example of poor parking came from Sidmouth International School. Owner Darrell Dumenil fears one of his pupils' lives could be lost in an accident there. He blamed inconsiderate drivers, "who stop for fags at Tesco or to use the cash machine" in High Street, despite double yellow lines.He said: "I wrote to the chief constable last year pointing out problems caused by cars parking opposite our entrance and Tesco."They are forcing larger traffic to drive up on the pavement to get past. Our kids come out there and, chances are, one will be knocked over."It is very dangerous. Someone will be seriously injured or killed. I am seriously concerned. "It doesn't matter if they look left or right, they are expecting to be walking on a pavement."Mr Turner said his team had to prioritise work, which meant dealing with anti-social behaviour and serious issues."We have borrowed Ottery St Mary's warden as much as we can. My PCSOs have traffic warden powers but also a heavy workload."Mr Dumenil, whose school has been in Sidmouth 30 years, believes enhancement to the top of High Street has compounded problems by levelling the road with the path, making it easier for lorries to use when negotiating parked vehicles.Mr Dumenil acknowledged businesses needed to load and unload outside premises. But he complained about drivers stopping to use the supermarket."There are some rude young people. If you say anything to them they give you the finger."He and staff have problems accessing the school because the entrance was blocked. "The only way is to have a traffic warden to slap on tickets."Mr Dumenil said: It has got worse since we lost our parking warden because everyone is driving a coach and horses through parking regulations."Mr Turner agreed. "When a warden came recently there were people running for their cars left, right and centre."With parking enforcement being taken on by the local authority soon, he warned drivers their wardens might take "a more draconian approach" to illicit parking.Mr Dumenil has warned students about the danger but said there was no space for a sign "as it would have to be in 35 languages".Write to the Herald with your views on this story.

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