"I have an issue with Geraldton drivers" - Letter to the editor

I have an issue with Geraldton drivers, an issue that is probably shared by a large proportion of the people who live here. You see, on a regular basis I encounter the small minority of drivers that cannot seem to park their cars.

I don't know what it is that makes it so hard for some drivers to successfully place their vehicle inside two white lines. Or why some drivers are in such a rush to get wherever they are going that they cannot take the extra 60 seconds to reverse their car, straighten up and park in the centre of those two white lines.

I know this problem might seem insignificant, petty even but when I regularly have to climb over the back seat of my car to place my children in their child restraints because I cannot open the passenger door far enough to squeeze them in, the problem starts to wear on me.

Case in point (there was no way I could open my door wide enough to get my kids in the car without hitting the side of their car, I tried):

The issue is compounded by the fact that our carparks are on the small side and only one way. Sometimes you have no choice but to play the "reversing game" (where you go in and out and in and out and in and out...) in an attempt to get out of your own park without hitting anyone else's car. Sometimes you get lucky and can drive out through the empty park in front of you.

Unfortunately the law is somewhat ambiguous on the whole "parking correctly" thing but this excerpt from the Drive Safe Handbook stands out to me:

3.18 Parking To ‘park’ means to permit the vehicle to remain stationary whether the vehicle is attended or not - except for the purpose of avoiding conflict with other traffic, complying with another law, or picking up or setting down passengers or goods (for a maximum of 2 minutes). Before you park your vehicle, ask yourself:

* is it safe to park here;
* is it legal; and
* will it cause trouble to other road users.

Though I did find this information in the Road Traffic Code 2000 Reg 179 interesting as well:

Subject to sub regulation (2), a driver parking a vehicle on a length of carriageway, or in an area, on which parking bays are marked (whether or not a “park in bays only” sign applies) shall position the vehicle completely within a single bay. If a vehicle is too wide or long to fit completely within a single parking bay, the person stopping the vehicle shall park the vehicle within the minimum number of parking bays needed to park that vehicle.

Though I doubt they meant this when writing that regulation…

It would be muchly appreciated if people could take that extra 60 seconds, think about the people around them and park properly. 

From your local Annoyed Driver

- N. Thompson