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With my kids having been at school for all of two weeks, I am already finding myself having nightmares about the school run. It is, for me, one of the most irritating aspects of being a parent.

school run, school run nightmares, dadbloguk, dadbloguk.com, dad blog uk, bad driving, parking on double yellow lines, inconsiderate driving
The school run makes me feel like this. Can you relate to my pain?

Forget the disturbed sleep, the occasional cleaning up of vomit and the hassle of buying school uniform. I expected all of this when I became a father. Having to tolerate other people’s inability to park a car or drive without simultaneously looking at their mobile phone…this I did not expect.

We do not live on our school’s door step. There is no direct bus or rail route and being very hilly, we drive, at least for some of the journey.

I have discovered that I can drive part of the way and walk some of the way. When I can bundle the kids out the door early enough, this is what we do, especially on summer days. It’s great exercise and not as damaging to the environment.

Even so, driving is generally a part of the routine. While stuck in yet another infernal traffic jam this morning, I came up with four scenarios I’ve seen or regularly see on the school run. Please do buckle up, check your mirrors, indicate and tell me what you think.

The car with a built-in laziness function

Some mums and dads seem to think they are trying to break a Guinness World Record for parking as close to the school as possible. I’m pretty sure some would park in the school yard itself if they could figure out a way to do it.

It seems their little darlings can’t be expected to walk an additional 50 metres. Driveways get blocked, pavements are made impassable and warning signs ignored simply to shave nano-seconds off the journey. We can all be in a rush, but please guys, let’s have some consideration for the people around us.

Yellow lines are voluntary, right?

I was witness to Motoring Maneuver of the Year last week.  It was selfish at best, dangerous at worst.

A dad was trying to drop his son off at school. He threw his car on to the opposite side of the road and pulled up on double yellow lines on a blind bend. He did this just as a delivery van rounded the bend to find Stunt Driver Dad right in front of him blocking the road.

Would Stunt Driver Dad move out the way? Oh no, of course he wouldn’t. He sat there, forcing the delivery van to pull up on to the pavement so he could get round the bend.

If Stunt Driver Dad had rounded the corner, a journey of, oh, five metres, he would have found himself in a wide street with virtually no cars parked on it. I therefore refer you back to point one up above.

You could fit a bus in there

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen people carriers parked in spaces where you could fit three cars. In fact, I have to be careful doing the school run with Mrs Adams.

Although Mrs Adams rarely accompanies me on the school run, the sight of bad parking brings out the Glaswegian in her. Muttering under the breath doesn’t come naturally to Glaswegians and the other day, when she and I dropped off Izzy together, I’m pretty sure the whole street heard what she thought of the various bad examples of parking on display. Let’s just say she wasn’t subtle.

I’m using an app to drive my car

Mums and dads drum the road safety message into their kids. They then strap their kids into the back of the car, pull into the traffic and decide this is the time to check Snapchat / Facebook / Twitter, ad infinitum.

I kid you not, I see this on a daily basis. It’s not only dangerous, it sends out such a bad message to the kids and it isn’t necessary. Urgent messages can be responded to before driving off.

What have you seen?

This tends to be quite an emotive issue. Have you seen any crazy examples outside your kids’ school? If so, please do leave a comment below. I’m confident some of you will have seen better than Stunt Driver Dad or App Mum at the wheel.

8 thoughts on “School run nightmares”

  1. These all make my blood boil! I’ve had a few run-ins over the years with parents who think the zigzags are not for kids’ safety, but their own personal reserved parking spaces! Down our road, parents park on both sides, yet two lanes of traffic still try to drive along in between, invariably forcing cars up onto the pavement. And the idiot drivers rarely actually check if there is a small child walking along said pavement! I’m so glad my years of dealing with that particular school are over, although I still have a fair few years of dealing with the other school to go.

    1. Parking on zig zags? Oh, not seen that, certainly not outside the kids’ school. Although I no doubt will at some point! I think I should get more vocal when I see poor parking. It might be fun!

  2. So true John.

    The road outside our eldest’s school was relaid in the summer holidays (yes they were actually considerate for once) however the zigzag and double yellows still haven’t been repainted yet and therefore since the start of term its been carnage… how on earth a child hasn’t been injured is beyond me. I’d like to blame it on all the new intake of children’s parents however I’ve seen some existing parents just dumping their cars in the morning until it becomes a tunnel which happens to be on a bus route as well as outside the school. Crazy!!!

    1. You said the dreaded word: Roadworks. They can screw everything up. I get the tunnel thing too. Happens outside a school I have to drive past to get to my kids’ school. It is madness.

  3. Our house in the UK is next door but one to a primary school and over the 8 years I lived there I saw all sorts of parking and driving like you’ve described above. Even arguments and rows in the middle of the street where people have refused to move their vehicles, doubly parking and blocking the whole road. Cars on the zig zags and not just pulling over to drop off but actually parking and walking their child into school and people actually stopping in the zebra crossing to let older children out the vehicles. As for the regular blocking of my drive way preventing me from getting to work, with one person reversing into my drive to turn round, which was common, then leaving their car on my drive to take their child into school. That morning I followed them into the playground and had a massive go at them in front of everyone. We came close to blows.

    1. If anyone would follow an errant motorist into a playground, it would be you Suzanne! the things I have seen outside my kids’ school leave me under no illusions. I am sure you have witnessed some shocking motoring and had to deal with abusive motorists. That is the awkward thing about living near a school I guess.

  4. The school run scares the hell out of me. Not the drive itself as this is five minutes but getting the kiddies ready and out on time. That is a challenge.

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