How nice it is to be able to hand Aberdeenshire Council a bouquet rather than a brickbat for a recent initiative which every law abiding citizen should applaud.
It’s not every day, after all, that a local council has the bottle to stand up to errant drivers, especially when it involves parents who are dropping off and collecting offspring from their place of education, but that is exactly what the Park Smart scheme is designed to achieve.
The fact that the the initiative is backed by Police Scotland should pretty well ensure that the 16 pilot schemes in the shire will be a success. We should all hope so, not I should add that I have anything against young parents, just the ones who are an embarrassment to other road users.
Something had to be done about the irresponsible ones who feel it is their right to abandon vehicles across other people’s driveways, or on double yellows, or even worse on the zig zags at schools.
But it is not just the illegal parking which draws attention to the issue, but the belligerent responses you evoke if you dare to challenge their actions.
Road rage is not nice at the best of times, but when it is conducted in front of young children, it becomes quite distressing, especially if it we have any aspirations about presenting good role models for our youngsters.
Interestingly grandparents seem, at least as far as I can see, to be less guilty of breaching the law, though I accept there will be exceptions.
But don’t get me wrong as not for a minute am I suggesting every parent or guardian should have to walk their charges to school, but that they should stay within the law, thus setting good examples to their young who are watching and learning all the time, and sadly benefiting little from observing adults behaving badly.
At the end of the day, the protection of our youngsters has to be the major consideration. As it stands, what is happening around our school gates borders on the dangerous, and while there has not been a fatal accident of late, it is surely only right and proper that we should take steps to ensure that safety is the order of the day.
Take a bow Aberdeenshire, you are to be applauded for your courageous attitude, taking on motorists is never easy. Good luck with Park Smart, it deserves to succeed.
Finally as someone who makes a living about writing about the noble game of rugby, I was desperately sad to have written, along with others, about the demise of the national team. With the World Cup in the autumn, I fear more pain to come, even humiliation, and no sign of where the improvement is to come from.