Yellow road markings and a sign showing the restrictions

Keep clear markings

The purpose of providing school keep clear markings (zig zags) is to keep the space outside of schools free from parked vehicles so that children can be seen more easily when crossing the road.

The over-riding priority around schools is the safety of children. Parents who choose to take their children to school by car must obey the parking regulations in place. Where single or double yellow lines are present, drivers can stop to pick up or drop off children, but waiting for passengers is not permitted. When picking up or dropping off a child, the driver must stay with their vehicle at all times unless the child needs help getting into or out of the vehicle.

The markings may be either mandatory (legally enforceable by a Traffic Signs Regulations Traffic Regulation Order) or advisory. In practice, the mandatory and advisory markings look the same, apart from the mandatory markings have an accompanying sign stating the times of operation. The enforcement of mandatory school keep clear zig-zag markings in Leicestershire is currently carried out by the Civil Enforcement Officers (CEO), as part of their general patrols. This restriction can be enforced by either a CEO or by closed-circuit television (CCTV).

Leicestershire Council Council uses camera cars to enforce these restrictions. A camera-equipped car is used to monitor and enforce parking restrictions outside schools. Using automatic number plate recognition technology (ANPR), the car is used by officers to collect the necessary evidence to issue a £70 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to drivers who park on zig-zag lines (known as school keep clear markings). The car is equipped with an intelligent enforcement system that uses GPS to recognise where restrictions begin and end as the vehicle is driven though a restriction zone. Council officers along with the local police work closely with schools on how to improve road safety and implement programmes that encourage children to walk to and from school safely.

If a school wants to be considered for future rounds of the school keep clear scheme, they should email

Parking restrictions may be considered around schools but only after an assessment has been carried out of the area. The criteria for this would include:

  1. accident data
  2. local amenity provision
  3. housing stock and
  4. speed data.

Where appropriate a range of options are available.

Physical measures to support the management of school parking may be used to complement/reinforce the use of parking restrictions as an alternative. Any potential measures would be assessed against the criteria for funding within the County Council’s limited resources. In reality, it is likely that many measures would need to be funded by third party funding to be implemented.

Further reading