There are calls for more enforcement of Dundee School Streets zones after police went months without catching a single driver breaking the rules.
The zones prohibit vehicles from using certain roads outside some primary schools during drop-off and pick-up times.
During the term, from 8.30am-9.15am and 3pm-3.30pm, only residents and transport providers with permits are allowed in signposted areas at several schools across the city, in an attempt to improve safety.
The Courier witnessed parents flouting the rules outside Forthill Primary School in Broughty Ferry in September after a series of complaints about people ignoring the signs.
‘Nothing will change’ without enforcement of Dundee School Streets rules
Now a Freedom of Information request (FOI) by The Courier has revealed that the only driving offences recorded under the scheme between January and mid-November were back in March.
A total of 18 drivers were caught outside St Andrews RC Primary School during that month, and a further four outside Coldside Campus.
Broughty Ferry councillor Craig Duncan, who has held talks with the Forthill head teacher about the issue, said: “I’m in favour of the scheme but for it to be of any use, you need a dual-pronged approach.
“You need to have adequate signage and you need to enforce the rules.
“I understand resources are limited but without educating parents about the existence of the scheme and enforcement, nothing will change.”
The scheme has undergone a significant expansion in 2023 with Eastern Primary joining the list in October, and Mill O’ Mains, Clepington and St Pius RC following in November.
St Ninians RC Primary is set to join School Streets in February 2024.
Despite the lack of offences recorded, Dundee City Council says the scheme is designed to “change attitudes”.
Dundee School Streets initiative ‘designed to change attitudes’
A spokesperson said: “Vehicles belonging to residents of the School Streets are exempt from the prohibition of driving, along with emergency vehicles and contracted taxis for school transport.
“There are no other exemptions and all other vehicles are subject to enforcement by Police Scotland.
“In order to achieve benefits for everyone, we need the understanding and co-operation of people who might otherwise just use their vehicles in the restricted areas.
“Initiatives like this are there to help to change attitudes, as well as the physical environment.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We have embarked on a series of progressive actions to deliver on our road safety priorities.
“This approach has blended awareness and educational engagement with parents and motorists and enforcement.
“The threat of enforcement shouldn’t be the only factor determining whether a driver acts considerately and we would urge motorists to take responsibility for their own actions, particularly around schools.
“Anyone with any concerns should report these to police on 101.”