News: Team Mildenhall children at risk
Story by Gina Randall
ABERDEEN CITY, United Kingdom - The mission of the RAF Mildenhall Child Development Center and Youth Center is to provide world class child care and youth programs to the Team Mildenhall community.
The staff are passionate about providing a safe place where service members can trust the staff is taking care of their children.
Unfortunately, some people dropping off or collecting their children from the CDC or the YC are parking irresponsibly. This is putting children at risk and the staff is concerned.
“Customers have been parking illegally and unsafely on the double yellow lines in the YC and CDC parking lot,” said Matt Driver, 100th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Services flight chief.
With today’s busy lifestyles people may think that they will save a valuable five minutes by parking on a double yellow line rather than utilizing the overflow parking lot, a short walk away.
“Maintaining the safety of the children who use our facilities is of far greater importance than the inconvenience caused to customers who have to park a little further away from the building,” Driver said.
There are times in the day when parking becomes congested. The busy times are from 4:30 to 7 p.m. when service members finish work and collect their children before heading home. During peak customer service times, the parking lot fills up very quickly, causing a hazard for other customers and the children.
“It gets really bad during the indoor sports season; cars are parked on the side walk,” said Joan Goode, 100th Force Support Squadron Youth Program director from London, England.
The staff members are concerned and want to bring the problem to people’s attention before an accident happens.
“We would like to remind all customers who use the RAF Mildenhall YC and CDC parking lot that additional overflow parking areas are available behind the CDC and across the main road next to the walking gate,” Driver said.
It’s not only a problem for the children. The bus drivers are being affected too.
“Parents parking illegally restricts access for school buses,” Goode said. “The buses can’t pull around properly when dropping the children outside. It’s a problem when the school activity bus comes during high-traffic times.”
Parking and waiting is only authorized in designated or marked parking spaces. At times the staff has noticed people dropping their cars off and leaving them for the day; now they put a notice on the customer’s car asking them to refrain from doing this in the future.
As the winter sets in, the days get shorter so reduced visibility also causes safety problems.
“With the clocks going back and darker nights drawing in, children and adults are at risk with the illegal cars pulling out and not noticing the pedestrians,” Goode said.
Driver and Goode hope bringing this problem to customers’ attention will stop the parking problems. However, if the problem continues, they will have no choice but to ask others to step in.
“We could ask for help from the 100th Security Forces Squadron,” Goode said.
Drivers may think stopping on yellow lines for just a few minutes doesn’t really matter. But they should imagine: what if it was their child who stepped into traffic because he or she had to go around the illegally parked car.
For more information, call Driver at DSN 238-3515 or commercial 01638-543515.