Creative Sunderland schoolchildren are being asked to help persuade parents to park more responsibly outside schools.

Despite the zig-zag lines and ‘no stopping 8am-5pm Monday to Friday’s signage on the road outside every school, the problem of inconsiderate and illegal parking remains an issue for many schools across the region and across the country.

Motorists stopping in the parking restricted zones outside schools endanger children’s lives by blocking pedestrian’s views of the road before they cross and cause traffic congestion.

To help address the issue in Sunderland every primary and secondary school in the city has been invited to take part in a competition to design artwork for a parking sign to go up outside their school gates.

It will remind parents and pupils alike of the dangers to road safety created by illegal and inconsiderate parking before, during and after school.

The winners will be announced during National Road Safety Week Monday 18 – Friday 22 November with closing date for any final entries the end of October.

This school’s poster design competition and awareness raising campaign, is part of Sunderland City Council’s continual work with community partners to improve road safety outside schools.

This includes the introduction of 20mph speed restrictions on the roads outside schools, and enables parking enforcement with the use of camera cars to identify problem areas and prosecute illegal parking.

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport, Councillor Amy Wilson said: “We hear regularly from concerned parents, teachers and local residents about the problems that irresponsible school gate parking can cause.

“ We are hoping to receive some fantastic designs that will not only deter people from parking inconsiderately or illegally, but first and foremost keep our pupils safe.”

The competition has been organised by Sunderland City Council’s road safety team in partnership with Washington based Radecal Signs and Graphics Ltd, with prizes including a visit to the local company’s workshops by the winners see artwork being graphically designed and manufactured into an actual sign

School Signs 4 U at Radecal Signs are also offering the following prizes to the winning primary and secondary schools:

1st prize is a £1,000 voucher
2nd prize is a £500 voucher
3rd prize is a £250 voucher
10 runners up will also have their designs printed for their schools
One of the schools taking part is Wessington Primary School in Washington where the whole school are taking part.

Business Manager, Diane Sykes said: “We are delighted that all of our children from Nursery to Year 6 are taking part in the competition.

” It is important to get the message across about the dangers of illegal and inconsiderate parking in and around our school site and by parking in such a manner is endangering lives, including their own children.”

Year 4 class teacher Mrs Parkin said: “The children enjoyed talking about road safety and came up with some great ideas.”

Year 4 pupil Reaghn Charlton added: “I enjoyed making up quotes and captions for the poster competition.”

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