Parents be warned: Police have started issuing tickets in
earnest for double-parked cars waiting to pick up their children
from school.
Hollister – Parents be warned: Police have started issuing tickets in earnest for double-parked cars waiting to pick up their children from school.

“It’s pretty simple,” said Captain Bob Brooks of the Hollister Police Department. “You park wrong, you get a ticket.”

Although police will be keeping an eye on parking violators at all local schools, special attention will be paid to the section of Monterey Street in front of San Benito High School, which has become notorious for lousy traffic at the beginning and end of school days.

“People need to understand that there are parking lots less than a block away,” said Brooks. “Yes, your kid will have to walk a bit, but at least everyone will be obeying the law.”

According to Brook, San Benito High School decided to start addressing the issue directly this year. Flyers were sent out before the school year started in the packets of information for students and parents that are mailed to each child’s home every August, informing parents of the problem.

As the school year started, uniformed officers were sent to verbally warn parents who were double-parked waiting for students, and campus security also handed flyers to parents as they waited, warning them that tickets would be issued if parents chose to continue double-parking.

“As silly as it sounds, writing these tickets is part of the education process,” said Brooks. “Parking is crowded, but for parents to expect to sit in the middle of the road just because it’s convenient for them isn’t reasonable. Other avenues haven’t worked, so now we’re moving up to enforcement.”

The police began issuing tickets on Monday, at $20 per incident. As of Thursday morning, they had issued 43 citations.

“Twenty dollars might not sound like much,” said Brooks. “But you can buy yourself a nice lunch for that. We’re not trying to be the bad guys, we’re enforcing the law, after warning parents several times, to gain compliance. That’s all.”

Brooks says that it is important to enforce the law because it provides for the safety of the students, especially those that walk home. Several cars parked illegally in the middle of the road make it difficult for drivers to see students crossing the street, and increase the possibility of an accident.

“I have three boys who went to the high school,” said Brooks. “Kids dart out into the street and you can’t see where they’re coming from because of all the cars, and people will sit there for 10 or 15 minutes waiting for their kids to get out of class. And if they ever had to get a fire apparatus in their to deal with an emergency, it’s so congested it would be nearly impossible.”

Parents are encouraged to use the designated areas for pick up and drop off, and to arrive on time to avoid congesting traffic while they wait for their children.

“It’s possible that people could park illegally in front of the school for years,” said Brooks. “And no one would ever be hurt in that time. But what do we do when someone is hit by a car? Do we shrug it off and say it was worth it, when we could have easily prevented it? Parking is one of the first things in everyone’s driver test, and there’s no reason this has to continue.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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