Police school blitz angers parents
By Sonia Caeiro and Rachel Afflick firstname.lastname@example.org WOLLONGBAR mum Natalie Leslie just wants to drop her kids off at school safely.
But this week she was one of many parents warned by police for dropping them off at the Wollongbar Public School's bus zone. Ms Leslie says an official 'drop off' zone is too far from the school.
"It doesn't make any sense to me," she said. "My child is in kindergarten " I can't let them walk so far on their own. When it's pouring with rain I can't get the babies out of the car to walk up to the gate. It's ridiculous."
Ms Leslie said no parent would pull in if a bus was there and there was no other way for parents to watch their children walk into the school grounds.
"If you park across the road the children have to cross into a bus zone which is also worrying because so many people ignore the 40km limit," she said.
It was precisely this point that prompted police to patrol the area, Senior Constable Michael Hogan of Lismore police said.
"Police were acting on a complaint," he said. "They warned numerous parents pulling up in the bus zone of the regulations but no tickets were issued. Protecting children in 40km and bus zones is paramount. It was well documented in the media across NSW at the start of the school year that police would be monitoring and enforcing these zones."
Constable Hogan said while clearly bus zones can be inconvenient at times, all schools across NSW had similar issues.
"There are correct channels for parents to pursue these concerns," he said. "They can contact the police directly, or the Lismore Council's Traffic Advisory Committee (when a school is in Lismore). This group looks at complaints and suggestions from the public regarding these matters and will work to achieve the best outcome for all concerned. There may well be a case for a temporary time limited drop off zone or a similar solution," he said.
P&C President Clare Cassin, agreed using the bus zone as a drop off point was against the law.
"We fully support the actions of the police in this matter," she said. "The rules are there to keep all our children safe. There is another entrance to the school opposite the shops where parents can see their children safely into the school grounds without breaking the law.""