Police crack down on illegal driving outside Basildon school
Police have been cracking down on drivers using a road outside a
school in Basildon illegally.
Photo: Pc Paul Cogan signals to an oncoming car to
Residents and staff at Fairhouse Community Infant and Junior
Schools are fed up with drivers flouting the law and driving
through a bus only part of Long Ridings near Napier Close.
Police have stepped up patrols in the area and have been monitoring
who the offenders are with help from the local community.
Sgt Paul Costin from the St Martin’s Neighbourhood Policing
Team said: "There is no excuse to break the law just to save
yourself travelling time. People who do this are doing so knowing
that it is situated outside a school, which makes it more
"We are doing this in the hope it educates road users of the
consequences of ignoring road signs and I am absolutely delighted
to have the support of the local community and school in combating
Where police have been made aware of the registration numbers of
offending vehicles thanks to the vigilance of the local community,
they have written to the owners of the vehicles or visited their
address to remind them that they have committed an offence, and
given them a chance to change their ways before further action in
the way of a fixed penalty notice is taken.
Jenny McCutcheon, Head Teacher of Fairhouse Community Junior
School, added: "This issue is very close to my heart; what makes it
so dangerous is that drivers slow down and check no one is looking,
and because they know it is illegal they then speed up to get
through it quickly.
"Our pupils, who won’t think that quickly as they are excitable
after leaving school or going about their daily business, are not
as aware as they would be at a crossing. For me, it’s the lack of
respect for the children and the community from people that do
this, and I am very happy with the police action so far, and we
will be working with the police in the future to further combat
A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued and police
have been visiting the area to deter further offences. In some
cases, police have requested that the registered keeper of the
vehicle declares who was driving, and if they fail to reply, they
commit an offence and could face prosecution.
Cllr Pat Rackley, St Martin’s Ward Councillor, said: "The bus
lane here has been an ongoing issue for years and we did campaign
for a camera to be installed to catch people breaking the law.
Children don’t expect anything but buses to use that part of the
road, so it can be very dangerous for drivers to use it as a cut
"I am delighted about the action police are taking against this
issue, and whilst a camera would have helped the problem, the
police action is far more effective because people now know if they
use it as a cut through, they will get a ticket or other action
from officers. Tackling this issue has been a real community
effort, and that’s what it’s all about for me; the community,
police and other agencies working together to solve the problem for
the benefit of everyone.”
Since police have been tackling the problem, the offenders seem
to have been changing their ways.
Sgt Costin added: "This is not about generating revenue from fixed
penalty notices, but about changing the mindset of the drivers.
Most people drive through this road without thinking of the
consequences and in the instances where we have issued strong words
of advice to the drivers, they so far have not reoffended, and that
is all we want.
"However, make no mistake that if you continue to break the law
and put the lives of innocent children at risk, we will use
everything in our power to ensure you are prosecuted.”