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Yellow Zig Zags outside school and summonsing

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#1 Matt.p


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Posted 14 December 2009 - 11:31 AM

Goodmorning all,

I need to know whether I can summons a driver for parking on yellow zig zags outside a school and what the offence is.

I have a PCSO college who was very aggressily told to go forth and that there was nothing she could do about this, when the PCSO politly asked the drive to move his vehicle.

I was going to stick him on for a public order offence but the PCSO can not remember exactly what her said to her.

I'm going to see the driver Thursday and if he is equilly impolite to me I shall give him his NIP if I can find a solid reason to stick him on.

All advice welcome



#2 Giraffe


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Posted 14 December 2009 - 12:52 PM

Right, I have looked on dozens of websites, and haven't been able to find a concrete answer. It appears that yellow zig zags are usually enforced by the council, as per this from Kingston borough council's website here:

School “Keep Clear”Markings

These restrictions are provided for safety reasons to ensure clear sight lines for both motorists and children outside schools. They are identified by yellow zig-zag lines (see example) and large yellow signs (see examples) placed either in the centre of or at the ends of the restrictions.

Posted Image

The times and dates of the restrictions may vary between areas or even between two different schools in the same road.

Posted Image Posted Image

Please check signs carefully before parking or stopping on the markings.

No vehicles, including vehicles showing a Disabled Person’s Blue Badge, are permitted to stop within the area of the markings during the times and dates the restriction is in force, even for picking up or setting down of passengers. Additionally, you must not load or unload within the restricted area during the time and period that the restriction is in operation.

If the school lies within a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) then the Keep Clear section will also be covered by a single yellow line restriction which prohibits parking within the School Keep Clear section during the CPZ controlled hours. The CPZ controlled hours will not necessarily be the same as the School Keep Clear restriction. If you are not sure of the CPZ hours of control you must check the CPZ entry signs, permit parking bay signs or signs at a Pay and Display machine which will show the times and days of control.

However according to this news article, Bristol council brought in new rules for yellow zig zags that were already there. I would presume therefore that councils decide which ones should be enforceable and which ones are merely cosmetic. I would assume that the difference lies with whether it has a time plate. As for whether only council traffic wardens or police officers (or both) can enforce these I have no idea.

Before you go doing anything Matt I would make sure you know categorically what the law is for the yellow zig zags that this incident occurred on. Otherwise you may end up looking very stupid if you turn up at someone's house and get it wrong. I have two booklets that I carry on duty that we use when issuing FPNs, as it has all our internal codes for the various offences. If a definitive answer hasn't been posted by the weekend I will check when I'm next on duty.

#3 SkinSte


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Posted 14 December 2009 - 01:08 PM

I know locally that the local council regularly patrol school markings with CCTV smart-cars. It appears that the fine is a PCN, although it is a little unclear on the website: http://www.lambeth.g...ng/CPZs.htm#not Other information I've dug out appears to indicate that it would be either a £120 or £100 PCN for this depending on exactly where, but these charges are London specific.

This local council states "Stopping on these markings during restricted hours is strictly prohibited as it is dangerous to all road users and pedestrians, especially children. The Council is currently considering improvements in enforcement of these restrictions to safeguard all users, including the possible use of CCTV cameras. The Council has a responsibility to penalise offenders through the issue of parking tickets." - http://www.bexley.go...?articleid=2323 Also on this link, note that it specifically mentions that the Police can prosecute you for stopping on Zebra crossings or the white zig-zag lines. Maybe from this it could be inferred that to do the same for school zig-zags is not a specific offence?

#4 BigCopSmallTown


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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:08 PM

The Highway Code says:


You MUST NOT wait or park on yellow lines during the times of operation shown on nearby time plates (or zone entry signs if in a Controlled Parking Zone) – see 'Information signs' and 'Road markings'. Double yellow lines indicate a prohibition of waiting at any time even if there are no upright signs. You MUST NOT wait or park, or stop to set down and pick up passengers, on school entrance markings (see 'Road markings') when upright signs indicate a prohibition of stopping.

[Law RTRA sects 5 & 8]

* Download 'Information signs' (PDF, 163K)

* Download 'Road markings' (PDF, 715K)

#5 brand b

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:57 PM

Most yellow zigzags were either enforced by the LA or not enforceable as they weren't correctly put in place, correctly marked etc.
As for going to see the driver. I'd stand back, take a deep breath and decide why you should do so. If there are offences, your desc of the pcso already suggests they are based on weak evidence. If there is an offence then do it correctly and not as a means of showing 'who is the boss'. besides, the chances are they will be back again once you have found out exactly what offences are committed and who and how they can be dealt with.

Edited by brand b, 04 January 2010 - 04:57 PM.

#6 prolixia


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Posted 04 January 2010 - 05:09 PM

Maybe drop RPU a line and ask them - as Giraffe says you want to be 100% sure.

Also, beware of taking a decision based on some kind of attitude test. It may become apparent when you meet him that words of advice are more suitable than a NIP, but that shouldn't be based simply on whether or not he was rude to the PCSO, or to you.

If he was out of line with the PCSO then (as you say) you'd want to look at dealing with that as a public order matter - NIPping him for his driving as a back door way of dealing with his behaviour isn't considered cricket :eek:

#7 Bart S

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 05:41 PM

As a former parking warden for a local authority, the school zig zags were decriminalised and were enforced by ourselves. It may be worthwhile getting in touch with your local parking section at the council and see what they say. :eek:

#8 DogMan88


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Posted 04 January 2010 - 05:45 PM

Most of the school parking zig zags are not enforceable. More just advisory from what I am told. If there is any enforcement on them, then it is the council that do this, and must be in the stated times that are displayed. Ie. No stopping here between 0800-0900, 1500-1600 or something like that.

#9 5460


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Posted 05 January 2010 - 09:50 AM

Our local schools recently had their markings re-painted, and new signage put up. The local traffic wardens were enforcing it every day for a week (start and finish times for the school not all day, even though it covered daytime). It was very successful!

#10 paintermac


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Posted 21 January 2010 - 09:57 AM

Hi, I have just stumbled onto your web site and noticed this string about "keep clear markings" outside schools. I am not a police officer but I am in the process of researching the origin of these markings for an article. Can anyone tell me what law covers these markings and when it first came into force. I think they first appeared around 1971 or 1972 following a Coroner's inquest in Stoke-on-Trent. Any information would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Paintermac

#11 Law_Grad


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Posted 21 January 2010 - 12:54 PM

This might help, as it has some key dates and legislation as well – perhaps you could search Hansards for any info about the legislation that created them.

School Keep Clear markings were first prescribed in the 1964 Traffic Signs Regulations. At the time, they consisted of broken white lines forming a box containing the words "School Entrance".
The prescribed marking was then changed in 1975 to what we know today - a yellow zig-zag line projecting into the road with the words "School Keep Clear" between the zig-zags. This has proved effective in discouraging parking. The current markings arrangement has since been prescribed in all Traffic Signs Regulations.


#12 Sidious


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Posted 21 January 2010 - 02:42 PM

There are two types of school markings and they look similar. Both can be prosecuted however.

If they are the first type with a yellow clearway board with times of operation and Posted Image this sign, then the zig-zags are a designated 'clearway' and will be enforced by a traffic order by the authority responsible for the upkeep of the highway. It is an offence to stop on a stretch of road so designated even to pick up or set down passengers. This will be a £30 Fixed Penalty Notice or report for summons. An NIP is not necessary.

If it does not have a 'clearway' restriction sign, then you would have to evidence that the stopping of the vehicle caused an 'unnecessary obstruction'. In order to prove that a vehicle was causing an obstruction it must be evidenced that the free passage of traffic along the highway was interrupted. This also is a £30 FPN, and again does not need an NIP.

The time limit for prosecutions is (as with most other traffic offences) six months.

Book 'em Danno.

#13 paintermac


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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:05 PM

Thanks very much for your imput. The mention of the 1975 change of regulation got my pathetic old brain into a different gear and I realised that the accident and inquest could actually have been in 1973 or 1974. I will now move forward in my enquiries to the revised dates. Once again thanks for all your help.


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