Parents fined for parking in Rockingham Lakes Primary School drop-off

Photo by Google Maps
Photo by Google Maps

ROCKINGHAM Lakes Primary School principal Tim Sewell has expressed disappointment with a City of Rockingham decision to fine parents at school drop-off times during the construction of a new carpark.

Mr Sewell said works began in July during the school holidays.

“We only found out the works had begun when we got back to school for the start of this term; the City did not tell us,” he said.

SEE ALSO: New Rockingham Lakes Primary School carpark long overdue

“We quickly raised several alternatives with the City, such as parking on the oval; however, they got knocked back,” he said.

“So we organised for parents to use the bus parking bays as a temporary ‘kiss and drop’ area until the works were complete.

“We even moved our buses into the staff carpark so parents could do that.

“However, the City of Rockingham had their rangers out fining parents parking there.

“They then said the bus bay is for buses only and they will make no exceptions – even during the construction of our new car park.

“To those parents I apologise for the confusion; I thought I had found a suitable short-term solution.

However, the City of Rockingham sees it differently.”

Mayor Barry Sammels would not be drawn on whether the school was notified of the works’ start date.

“The school was involved in the detailed design of the carpark and has been notified of when the project is expected to be completed,” he said.

He said parking alternatives had been suggested.

“The City worked closely with the school before the project started and suggested a number of alternative parking arrangements for the school to implement within its grounds,” Cr Sammels said.

“We encouraged the school to communicate the works to the school community through their newsletter.”

Cr Sammels said the fines related to child safety concerns and not money.

“Parking in a bus bay in the City of Rockingham is a breach of local laws,” he said.

“In this instance the City was not consulted by the school regarding its direction to parents to use the bus bay.

“No member of the school has the authority to give permission to people to breach road rules or local laws.

“Illegal parking around schools is one of the highest contributors to the injury and death of children from traffic collisions.

“Accordingly, high-visibility patrols are conducted regularly at all schools across the City.”

The $65 fine would not be cancelled but parents could appeal them.

“The City has a thorough appeals administration process,” Mr Sammels said.

“People who received an infringement after they parked or stopped in the bus bay due to the advice they received from the principal should cite this issue when making an appeal for the infringement to be withdrawn.”

Mr Sewell said parents could do this by completing an infringement appeal, either online or in person.

“The City of Rockingham has suggested including a copy of the communication we sent home about the ‘kiss and ride’ with your appeal information,” he said.