British police are publicly shaming a parent who broke at least one written law, and probably half a dozen unwritten ones, for double-parking in front of a school when they lived about a block away, Yahoo News reports.
It’s the bane of every parent who drives their kid to school: other parents who disobey the standard laws and procedures, written and unwritten, that come with dropping off kids in the morning or picking them up in the afternoon. Most American parents have the comparative luxury of doing so in spacious lanes and parking lots with plenty of room.
Not so in Europe, where most cities are densely-populated, at least, compared to American cities. And that’s particularly true in Birmingham, England, where the houses are tightly-packed, the streets are narrow, and parking is at a premium.
So you can imagine the frustration of the parents of kids at Bordesley Green School Friday morning who tried to drop off their kids, only to find their route stymied by a Toyota that was double-parked in front of the school. And when police tracked down the miscreant, they found that the offender lived just a few hundred feet away.
Authorities took the occasion to publicly shame the offender in a Twitter post. Even though the post was made without naming names, let’s face it, the other parents doubtless know who the person is.
For the sake of clarity, £100 is about $130.
In addition to the legal component to this crime, there’s also a cultural component going on here. Unlike in America, most Europeans, when they have the chance, either walk, bike, or take public transportation to where they’re going. To be fair, that’s a luxury that most Americans don’t have, considering that American cities are more spread out compared to densely-packed European cities; many of us live in suburban or rural areas where public transportation isn’t an option; or live in cities where public transportation is unreliable.
As it turns out, though, in Scotland, England, and Wales, that American tradition of driving everywhere may be creeping into the culture. And some residents aren’t having it: a recent survey suggests that an overwhelming majority of families living near schools (90 percent) recommend closing streets near schools to traffic during pick-up or drop-off times, to stop children from having to breathe polluted air.
Meanwhile, here in the states, the issue of police using social media to publicly shame perps is causing a conversation. That’s because, as CBS News reported in 2017, many people publicly-shamed by cops on social media don’t wind up being convicted of the crimes they’re accused of.