A NEW camera car is taking to the streets of Sandwell to help tackle illegal parking and improve road safety, especially outside schools and on school routes.

Fitted with CCTV equipment, it will patrol all schools and capture images of vehicles parked on the yellow zig-zag keep clear markings outside schools.

Councillor Maria Crompton, cabinet member for highways and environment , said the council was responding to public concerns about inconsiderate and illegal parking putting children’s safety at risk.

The car will patrol around Sandwell over the next few weeks, to raise awareness of the scheme at the start of the new school year before enforcement begins.

Motorists caught by the camera car will face £70 fines from September 29 if they park or drop off on school keep clear markings.

Cllr Compton said: “We know most motorists do take care and park legally – but we need to get the message through to the minority who don’t.

She added: “A ‘camera car’ can reach more places and tackle more problems than a parking warden can on foot.

“We hope it will act as a deterrent and help make sure drivers take the time to find alternative legal parking places so that our children and other road users are not put at risk or obstructed.”

The council will also use it to monitor and record breaches of other traffic regulation orders, including illegal parking or stopping at bus stops, along red routes, on pedestrian crossings and accompanying zig-zag lines.