Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

Safe Location

Before stopping to park in an area, try to ensure, as best as you can, that it is a safe location by taking note of the points below:

  • Are there any vehicles behind me that have been following me for a fair distance? This could be an indication that you may be hijacked and it would be safer not to park.

  • Does the area feel safe?

  • Is it well lit?

  • Is it hidden away or in full view of others?

  • Is it a legal or considerate area to park:

  •       Disabled - Not for selfish people that are not disabled.

  •       Loading zone - For delivery vehicles.

  •       No parking sign or road marking.

  •       Next to a fire hydrant.

  •       Blocking any entrance or making it difficult to enter or              exit the entrance.

  • Will the car be exposed to high-speed traffic?

  • Are there any vehicles behind and in front of me to act as a buffer?

  • How close to the flow of passing traffic is the parking spot?

  • Is it a spot that is close to a corner? Danger of a lengthy vehicle taking the corner and its trajectory colliding with your vehicle.

  • Is the sidewalk very close to the parking bay with a lot of pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, that could damage the vehicle?

  • If side-by-side parking, how much space is there for vehicles on either side to be able to open their doors without hitting your vehicle?

  • Is there an object on the sidewalk close to the bay that would force pedestrians to squeeze between the object and your vehicle so that anyone carrying bags may scrape against the side of the vehicle?

  • Is there anything above the vehicle that could fall on it and do damage? E.g., Branch breaking, ice sliding off a roof, Construction works overhead, etc.

  • Is there anything on the surface that is dodgy? E.g., sunken area indicating a sink hole, deep gutter indicating perhaps flash flooding, etc.

  • Is the road at a steep angle? Will make parking more difficult and other parked cars could roll into yours.

  • Steep Incline:

  •       In addition to the handbrake, also put your vehicle in first          gear.

  •       Turn your steering away from the pavement. This will                  ensure that your wheel will catch against the pavement if        the car starts rolling.

  • Steep Decline:

  •       In addition to the handbrake, also put your vehicle in                  reverse gear.

  •       Turn your steering towards the pavement. This will                      ensure that your wheel will catch against the pavement if        the car starts rolling.

  • If on a highway, is it on the slower lane side?

Positioning in Parking Bay

  • Try to park longitudinally in the middle of the bay. I.e., same amount of space both in front and behind your vehicle.

  • If there is a vehicle behind and/or in front of yours, make sure that your vehicle does not jut out beyond theirs on the road side. Try to be even further from the road than their vehicles so that you are more protected.

  • At the same time, you don't want to be too close to the curb where you can damage the wheel or be scratched by passing pedestrians.

Common Incidents

The accompanying video highlights some of the common incidents.

Parallel Parking

Parallel parking is a difficulty for many people. I have added an animation to show how to make it a lot easier. Follow the very simple guide in the video so that you never have to struggle again.

Are car parking fines enforceable?

Yes, car parking fines can be enforceable depending on the jurisdiction and local regulations. Parking fines are typically issued by authorized entities, such as local authorities or private parking enforcement companies, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Authority to issue fines: The entities responsible for enforcing parking regulations, such as local governments or parking enforcement agencies, have the legal authority to issue parking fines. They are empowered to monitor parking areas, enforce regulations, and issue fines for violations.

  • Legal basis: Parking fines are typically backed by specific laws and regulations established by the local government. These regulations define parking restrictions, time limits, permit requirements, and other related provisions. Violations of these regulations can result in the issuance of fines.

  • Penalties for non-payment: If a parking fine is not paid within the specified timeframe, there may be additional penalties or consequences. These can include increased fines, late fees, the immobilization or towing of the vehicle, or restrictions on vehicle registration or renewal.

  • Dispute and appeal process: In many jurisdictions, there is a process in place to dispute or appeal parking fines if you believe they were issued incorrectly or unfairly. This process typically involves providing evidence or presenting your case to the relevant authority for review. The specific procedures for disputing or appealing a parking fine can vary between jurisdictions.

While parking fines are generally enforceable, it's important to understand the specific laws and regulations in your area and follow the appropriate procedures if you wish to dispute a fine. It's advisable to consult local parking regulations and seek legal advice if you have concerns about a parking fine or the enforcement process in your jurisdiction.

What time parking is free?

The specific times when parking is free can vary depending on the jurisdiction and local regulations in place. There is no universal standard for free parking times as it is determined by local authorities and can vary from one area to another. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Parking meters and signs: Local regulations will typically dictate the specific parking rules, including any designated free parking periods. Look for signage or parking meters in the area that indicate the applicable parking rules, time limits, and any exemptions.

  • Time restrictions: Even in areas where parking is generally free, there may still be time restrictions in place. For example, there could be limits on how long you can park in a particular spot before a fee or fine is imposed. Pay attention to posted time limits to avoid potential penalties.

  • Controlled parking zones: In some cities or areas, there may be designated controlled parking zones where specific rules and regulations apply. These zones may have different parking restrictions and may require permits or payment regardless of the time of day.

To obtain accurate information about when parking is free in your specific location, it's advisable to check the local regulations and consult sources such as local authorities, parking enforcement agencies, or relevant websites.

They can provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding parking rules, any designated free parking periods, and any exceptions or restrictions that may apply.

How long do you have to leave a car park after paying?

The duration you have to leave a car park after paying can vary depending on the specific car park and its policies. In many car parks, there is typically a grace period provided after payment to allow drivers to exit without incurring additional charges. However, the exact length of this grace period can vary.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • Car park policies: Different car parks may have their own specific policies regarding the grace period after payment. Some car parks may provide a few minutes, such as 10 or 15 minutes, while others may offer longer periods, such as 30 minutes or an hour.

  • Ticket validation: If you have a physical ticket or parking pass, it may have an expiration time printed on it. This indicates the duration during which the ticket is valid, and you generally need to exit the car park before that time to avoid any additional charges.

  • Automated systems: Many modern car parks use automated systems that rely on ticket entry and exit machines or license plate recognition. These systems are programmed to track the duration of your stay, and the exit barrier will typically allow you to leave within the allotted time after payment.

It's important to familiarize yourself with the specific policies of the car park you are using. Look for any signs, instructions, or information displayed at the car park entrance, payment machines, or on the parking ticket itself. If you are unsure about the grace period or any time restrictions, you can inquire with the car park attendants or contact the car park management for clarification.

Keep in mind that exceeding the grace period or the valid duration of your parking ticket may result in additional charges, and it's essential to adhere to the rules and policies of the car park to avoid any potential penalties.

Can a car park in front of my house?

The ability to park a car in front of your house depends on various factors, including local regulations, parking restrictions, and the specific circumstances in your area. Here are some general considerations:

  • Public street parking: If the area in front of your house is a public street, parking is typically allowed unless there are specific restrictions or regulations in place. Local authorities may impose restrictions such as permit parking, time-limited parking, or no parking zones. Check with your local municipality or transportation department to understand the parking regulations in your area.

  • Private property: If the area in front of your house is part of your private property, you generally have control over who can park there. However, it's important to note that some areas may have legal easements or public access rights that allow others to park in front of your property. Local laws or agreements may also come into play.

  • Parking permits or zones: Some neighborhoods or residential areas may have parking permits or designated zones to ensure parking availability for residents. These permits or zones may restrict parking to residents or provide time-limited parking for visitors. Check with your local authorities to determine if any permits or zoning regulations are in place.

  • Driveway access: If you have a driveway in front of your house, it's generally expected that you have the right to park your own vehicles there. However, it's important to ensure that your vehicle does not block the sidewalk or infringe on any local parking regulations.

It's important to review and understand the local regulations and restrictions that apply to parking in your area. Contact your local municipality or transportation department for specific information regarding parking regulations and any permits that may be required.

Can a car park opposite my driveway?

Whether or not a car can park directly opposite your driveway can depend on local parking regulations and road conditions. Here are some general considerations:

  • Local regulations: Local authorities typically establish parking regulations that dictate where vehicles can and cannot park. These regulations may include restrictions on parking opposite driveways. Check with your local municipality or transportation department to understand the specific parking rules in your area.

  • Visibility and safety: Parking directly opposite a driveway can potentially hinder visibility for both you and other drivers entering or exiting the driveway. It is generally recommended to have a clear line of sight when entering or exiting your property to ensure safety. If a vehicle parked opposite your driveway obstructs your visibility, it may be worth contacting the appropriate authorities to address the issue.

  • Road width and traffic flow: The width of the road and the flow of traffic are important considerations. If parking opposite your driveway would significantly narrow the road or impede the smooth flow of traffic, there may be additional restrictions on parking in that area.

  • Yellow lines or other markings: Some roads may have specific markings, such as yellow lines, indicating no-parking zones. These markings are typically placed in areas where parking is prohibited to ensure traffic safety or maintain the flow of vehicles. Parking opposite a driveway marked with yellow lines is generally not allowed.

It's crucial to consult the local parking regulations and observe any specific markings or signs in your area. If you believe a vehicle parked opposite your driveway is violating parking regulations or causing visibility issues, you may consider contacting local authorities, such as the parking enforcement or transportation department, to report the situation and seek their guidance.

Can you park facing oncoming traffic?

No, it is generally not allowed to park facing oncoming traffic. In most jurisdictions, traffic regulations require vehicles to park in the direction of traffic flow on that side of the road. This means that if you are parking on the right side of the road, you should park with the flow of traffic, and if you are parking on the left side of the road (in countries where driving is on the right side), you should park with your vehicle facing the same direction as the traffic.

The purpose of this rule is to ensure the safety of both pedestrians and other drivers. Parking in the opposite direction of traffic can be hazardous because it increases the risk of collisions, reduces visibility when entering or exiting the parking space, and makes it more difficult for other drivers to anticipate your movements.

Always make sure to follow the specific parking regulations in your local area, as there might be variations or exceptions to this general rule in certain situations or locations.

🛈 Car Parking App

There are several car parking apps available that can help you find, reserve, and pay for parking spaces. Here are some popular car parking apps:

  • ParkMobile: ParkMobile is a widely used parking app that allows you to find and pay for parking spaces in various locations. It offers features like mobile payments, parking spot reservations, and parking time extensions.

  • SpotHero: SpotHero helps you find and reserve parking spots in advance, allowing you to compare prices and availability in different areas. It also offers options for monthly parking and provides navigation to your selected parking location.

  • ParkWhiz: ParkWhiz lets you search for and book parking spaces in advance, providing you with a guaranteed spot when you arrive. It offers options for both daily and monthly parking and has coverage in many major cities.

  • PayByPhone: PayByPhone allows you to pay for parking using your smartphone. You can easily start and stop parking sessions, receive reminders, and extend your parking time remotely. It is available in numerous cities globally.

  • BestParking: BestParking helps you find parking spots and compare prices in different locations. It offers real-time availability information, special rates, and discounts for certain parking facilities.

  • HonkMobile: HonkMobile is an app that allows you to find and pay for parking in various cities. It provides options for on-street parking, parking lots, and garages, and offers features like mobile payments and extended parking.

When using parking apps, make sure to review user reviews, check the app's coverage in your area, and consider any additional fees or charges associated with using the app.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving