VIDEO: City to Crack Down on Parents Over Traffic Congestion, Safety Risk

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The City of Windsor wants parents driving their kids to school to think about where they are stopping.

The city, along with Windsor Fire and Windsor Police, conducted an exercise Tuesday morning at an elementary school near Willistead Manor as a fire truck tried to get through, but was unable to, because it was blocked by parents dropping off their kids.

Windsor's Supervisor of Compliance and Enforcement Bill Kralovensky says if it was a real emergency, the truck would have been delayed and in an emergency, seconds count.

"In the middle of some of the chaos as we call it, prove to some of the more stubborn parents that God forbid, something happens in the middle of this block, Windsor Fire, Windsor Police, we couldn't get emergency services down this street in a safe manner as well, to get to where they need to go," says Kralovensky.

The city is encouraging parents who live within walking distance of a school, to allow their  kids to walk to school, preferably in groups.

The city has developed a MySchoolNeighbourhood app to help parents prepare a route for their children to walk to school.

Parent Ben Deacon walks his 7-year-old daughter to and from school every day, rain or shine.  He applauds the city for conducting the exercise in hopes that parents get the message.

"The danger that is caused by parents parking the wrong way on the street, we have watched kids almost get hit, I personally have been nicked a handful of times walking to and from school," he says. 

Deacon says he has witnessed people running through stop signs making the situation even worse.

"I will never stop walking my child to school because I think it is important," says Deacon.  "Even for the small amount of exercise that she is getting in the morning just to walk to school, but enjoying the neighbourhood is a lot easier when it is safer and if people are stopping at the stop signs and parking where they should, it would probably make it a lot safer."

In addition, the city is pointing out parents idling their vehicles at school causes air pollution.  

Supervisor of Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Karina Richters says idling makes kids sick.

"For young children, their lungs are just developing and they breathe twice as fast as an adult so they are breathing a lot more of these contaminants than an adult would and you are basically idling their vehicle next to the places where they play," says Richters. 

The City of Windsor has a by-law prohibiting idling vehicles for more than three minutes and in some cases, officials say after school, some parents idle their cars for 40 minutes waiting to pick up their child.

Windsor police say parents in large numbers driving their kids to school pose a safety risk when they are in a walkable distance.  

Police point out that schools were not designed for all these additional vehicles to be dropping off kids at the school because it blocks sightlines.