Jay Cronan

Parents choose safety over fines

PARENTS of Wollongbar Public School students are calling for an undercover drop-off zone as a matter of urgency.

With Ballina Shire Council rangers readily fining parents who drop off their children in the school's bus zone when it rains, parents hope the work will be done sooner rather than later.

Amanda Cox, whose son Riley is in Year 1 at the school, said drop-off zones only became an issue when it rained.

“There's nowhere to drop your kids off in a safe undercover area,” she said.

“We know it's a bus zone, but we prefer our kids' safety over being issued with a fine.”

Mrs Cox said her family had experienced first-hand the problems caused by parking in the bus zone.

“My husband got fined recently when he was dropping off in the bus zone,” she said. “He was parked there for less than 30 seconds.”

Ballina Shire Council regulatory services group manager Rod Willis said what the parents were doing was illegal.

“The rangers are simply taking photos of cars illegally parked. Our aim is road safety, it's not a matter of council going out and raising revenue or harassing people,” he said.

Mr Willis said when the NSW Government moved parking duties from police to local councils, Ballina Shire Council approached all principals in the shire.

“When we approached principals we gave them the opportunity to advise their school community on road safety and bus areas as no parking zones and we've reminded schools of this fairly regularly,” he said.

“The schools can approach council if they think there is a real problem, or if parents have any ideas they are welcome to discuss them with us or write a letter. The other option is to approach the NSW Department of Education.”

A department spokesman said it was ultimately not up to the school or the department whether an official drop-off zone was set up.

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