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How parking law enforcement is dangerous to children

By 22 August 2008 38

Parking on nature strips (between your property and the roadside) is far safer to the public with improved visibility for the driver and pedestrians.

However despite the obvious safety concerns, parking on the nature strip is not permitted under our parking laws and you can be fined by parking inspectors or the City Rangers.

The diagram with this article attempts to illustrate the danger posed by forcing vehicles off the nature strip onto the road. Most suburban roads don’t even have line markings making even more obstactles for pedestrians and drivers to negotiate.

There seems to be no public safety reason to force vehicles to park on the road instead of safely off the road. In the countryside its normal to park off the road as far as possible for everyone’s safety, but on suburban street this logic is not applied for some reason.

Plus, homeowners must take care of this area of nature strip and especially with drought conditions it is probably better to improve this area with a hard standing.

Forcing vehicles of the road onto property also poses a significant risk of death or injury particularly to infants and children from reversing vehicles.

I wonder what Pedestrian Council of Australia has to say about this?

Whats more important? Blank green squares of nothingness in front of our homes and apartments or dead children?

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38 Responses to How parking law enforcement is dangerous to children
#1
Aurelius3:27 pm, 22 Aug 08

One contrast I noticed when moving between Brisbane and Canberra is that noone parks on the street here, not in the suburbs. I dunno why, but they just don’t.

#2
sepi3:47 pm, 22 Aug 08

People have started to park in the road in the merging lane just after the lights at Majura Ave and Cowper st. This one is an accident waiting to happen, as cars speeding up to merge are faced with a row of parked cars.

I’d prefer nature strip parking.

#3
Granny4:04 pm, 22 Aug 08

I would prefer nature strip parking, as long as it doesn’t interfere with footpaths; as it is much more difficult to get past if you are a person with a disability requiring a wheelchair, or a parent with a pram, or a little kid on a set of wheels.

In this case, parking over the footpath often forces the pedestrian off onto the road which could be far more dangerous.

#4
peterh4:16 pm, 22 Aug 08

blank green squares of nothingness??

not out the front of my place.

try dust bowl.

if people visiting me want to park there, it looks better than the dust….

#5
Granny4:33 pm, 22 Aug 08

You too, huh?

#6
Woody Mann-Caruso4:33 pm, 22 Aug 08

Nutjob. Once the kid gets hit, does he go back…and to the left? Back…and to the left?

#7
Mr Evil4:38 pm, 22 Aug 08

Ban cars totally – then we can all sleep soundly at night knowing that there aren’t thousands of children being run down and killed in the ACT each and every day anymore.

#8
AstralPlane4:49 pm, 22 Aug 08

I’m not quite with you because I think that’s too simplistic. Just move the car in your second drawing over to the left lane and sight lines are exactly the same. Space is nice, why bugger up a perfectly good nature strip for no gain? And Granny’s got a point. Round our place, for example, people park all over the place – I’ve seen kids ride their bikes out onto the road to avoid riding through the skinny bit of the nature strip between the car and the hedge. That’s bound to be more dangerous than cars parking on the road where they should be. Have a look at the construction areas of Lonsdale St – you can’t walk on the footpath sometimes because the cars block the way.

Seems to me that you’d need to regulate it pretty heavily if you were to allow cars to park on the nature strip. Otherwise some car drivers just assume that they can do whatever they like because they have a car. They don’t think much about what goes on while where away from where they’ve parked, so a simple convenience for them can result in hours of inconvenience for lots of people.

I think I like it how it is, nice and simple – cars go on the road. And for crying out loud, there’s so much road already. How much more of the world should we devote to cars?

PS I say the above as a confirmed petrol head (while there still is some), evidenced by the spare diff/axle and various other bits stored out the front of my place.

#9
ruhappynow4:56 pm, 22 Aug 08

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Nutjob. Once the kid gets hit, does he go back…and to the left? Back…and to the left?

Take you medicine woody before you comment again

#10
ruhappynow5:12 pm, 22 Aug 08

AstralPlane said :

I’m not quite with you because I think that’s too simplistic. Just move the car in your second drawing over to the left lane and sight lines are exactly the same. Space is nice, why bugger up a perfectly good nature strip for no gain? And Granny’s got a point. Round our place, for example, people park all over the place – I’ve seen kids ride their bikes out onto the road to avoid riding through the skinny bit of the nature strip between the car and the hedge. That’s bound to be more dangerous than cars parking on the road where they should be. Have a look at the construction areas of Lonsdale St – you can’t walk on the footpath sometimes because the cars block the way.

Seems to me that you’d need to regulate it pretty heavily if you were to allow cars to park on the nature strip. Otherwise some car drivers just assume that they can do whatever they like because they have a car. They don’t think much about what goes on while where away from where they’ve parked, so a simple convenience for them can result in hours of inconvenience for lots of people.

I think I like it how it is, nice and simple – cars go on the road. And for crying out loud, there’s so much road already. How much more of the world should we devote to cars?

PS I say the above as a confirmed petrol head (while there still is some), evidenced by the spare diff/axle and various other bits stored out the front of my place.

The point is this diagram is supposed to show a typical scenario where it would be better to allow cars to park on the house owners front nature strip (obviously not across footpaths or other locations where line of site becomes an issue).
I live on a straight, wide road next to a school and its 50 zone – I didn’t get a ticket but have seen kids come very close to being hit “Back…and to the left?” as Woody so eloquently put it. The stopping distances and line of sight show of the diagram are from the street. Perhaps a coroners report – for the skeptics – would be a little more scientific…

#11
Wide Boy Jake5:36 pm, 22 Aug 08

The “Pedestrian Council of Australia” consists of Harold Scruby and a fax machine. Scruby is a chronic attention seeker who during the 1980s called himself Ausflag and wanted to change the Australian flag. The Sydney media love him and are constantly seeking his comments whenever anything to do with motoring makes the news.

#12
mutley...again5:37 pm, 22 Aug 08

How many kids in Canberra have been killed in this way over the last 5 years?

#13
Mr Evil5:51 pm, 22 Aug 08

mutley…again said :

How many kids in Canberra have been killed in this way over the last 5 years?

Thousands.

But we don’t hear anything about it in the media because it’s all part of an ACT Govt cover-up……..

#14
AstralPlane5:54 pm, 22 Aug 08

Yep, I take your point and agree with it. I just don’t think it is so widely applicable as to warrant change. It’s based on one typical scenario which is not what all roads are like and which assumes that cars drive in the right lane, which in a recent post we’ve established isn’t polite.

It might be fair enough to say that orderly nature strip parking should be allowed on your street and others like it. But my gut says the necessary road rules about when that is and isn’t allowed would add a layer of complication that the world doesn’t need, and, more importantly, that people would see it as a green light to park where ever they want, thus creating a different kind of danger. It’s not like it is or would be policed heavily. Then you’d just have this argument reversed with people starting to post that nature strip parking is dangerous and cars should be on the road. I can’t see a net gain for society, just a change. With that in mind I like it like it is, all spacious.

#15
Granny5:59 pm, 22 Aug 08

In Ngunnawal our roads are so narrow that it’s hard for vehicles to use the road at all if the cars don’t park on the nature strips.

#16
lux6:39 pm, 22 Aug 08

My Woden-area suburb sounds similar to Granny’s… If somebody parks on the road, they take up half the lane. If, God forbid, two cars park close to each other on opposite sides of the road… well, it’s quite a task negotiating the Commodore between them.

#17
Spideydog7:02 pm, 22 Aug 08

Has anyone actaully been fined for parking on nature strips ?? I think this would be a rare occurrence at best ??

But yes, I would prefer parking on nature strips to parking on the street. I especially hate people parking at stupid places on roads ie, on blind corners, crests of hills, directly opposite another car parked on other side of road if room to parked staggered etc etc, I swear some people do not think at all when deciding on parking thier vehicle in suburban areas….or is it just me ??

#18
Woody Mann-Caruso7:09 pm, 22 Aug 08

Take you medicine woody before you comment again

Sorry – what did you say? I was busy running over badly drawn kids on a simplistic diagram, and couldn’t hear you over the thuds.

#19
kris10:27 pm, 22 Aug 08

Parking on the nature strip doesn’t only kill the grass, but it also damages and kills the trees. In the block of units I live in the strata has had to put giant boulders around the driveway to stop people parking on the nature strip. It also causes visibility problems for people coming out of driveways.

#20
bd8410:30 pm, 22 Aug 08

You can tell when people feel strong for an issue when they have the time to draw pretty drawings, I especially like the dead child part hehe

#21
ant10:39 pm, 22 Aug 08

The nature strip is for plants, and grass, and nature, not cars. Here’s a radical idea, how about parents teach their kids about how to co-exist with roads safely? When I was a kid, I remember being drilled endlessly about this stuff. Hector bloody cat and the rest of them.

If it is so very important to make roads safe for kids, just make all cars go at 40 or 30 km/hr. You know, like everyone does past schools, especially parents. Yeah. Not.

#22
Granny11:16 pm, 22 Aug 08

I love Hector the Cat. I have been known to embarrass my kids by singing the Hector song when we stop at the kerb …

*heh heh heh*

#23
starry9:32 am, 23 Aug 08

Granny, you sound like my husband remembering that song.

#24
harley10:40 am, 23 Aug 08

Of course, if the commodore in the second diagram was on the left side of the road – which it will be because drivers are stupid (I include myself in that generalisation) – the kid is just as dead.

Sorry, this post is a troll…

#25
toriness10:40 am, 23 Aug 08

ruhappynow – teach your child to look left and right and left again before safely crossing the road, or alternatively use a marked pedestrian crossing.

your education of your child you have control over, where people park you do not.

#26
Jonathon Reynolds11:08 am, 23 Aug 08

ruhappynow said :

I live on a straight, wide road next to a school and its 50 zone – I didn’t get a ticket but have seen kids come very close to being hit “Back…and to the left?” as Woody so eloquently put it. The stopping distances and line of sight show of the diagram are from the street. Perhaps a coroners report – for the skeptics – would be a little more scientific…

Come live in Gungahlin where a large number of the roads barely meet the AusRoad standards which specify a minimum 5000mm paved width, Often in these narrow streets have cars parked on the nature strip by necessity. The streets are absolutely no safer and the nature strips end up looking like barren deserts (either de-vegetated bare dirt or expanses of red scoria).

Road safety is about designing roads that have appropriate traffic volumes/flow, good visibility for both the pedestrian and the motorist, appropriate traffic calming techniques (and they don’t all have to be speed humps), teaching children about road safety and how to behave when crossing or near roads.

I agree there may be some stretches of road that may be problematic (or potentially unsafe), however it is far more effective to solve those localised problems than attempt a one size fits all solution which itself would create many other road safety issues.

#27
Loquaciousness11:54 am, 23 Aug 08

I notice that in the “alive child” picture, the car has an extra 50m or so of reaction-time too.

Nitpicking aside – kids are going to dart out from between cars, signs, other pedestrians, rubbish bins, school buses, and whatever else they can find regardless of what rules are made to prevent it happening. The answer is to teach your kids road safety and pay attention to the road when you’re driving, not to move the cars. There’s plenty of valid reasons why cars should not park on nature strips, and there’s plenty of valid reasons why cars should not park on the road. There’s also plenty of situations where parking your car elsewhere isn’t going to make a jot of difference.

L

#28
Loquaciousness11:57 am, 23 Aug 08

Aurelius said :

One contrast I noticed when moving between Brisbane and Canberra is that noone parks on the street here, not in the suburbs. I dunno why, but they just don’t.

I’ve noticed this too, and at first I thought it was because the residential streets in Canberra are often really narrow and twisty – the chances of being hit from behind are too great.

That theory was dashed when I moved closer to the city in Brisbane – the streets there are just as narrow and twisty and even the presence of a yellow line on the road doesn’t seem to deter most.

L

#29
Granny1:21 pm, 23 Aug 08

starry said :

Granny, you sound like my husband remembering that song.

It’s still how I remember how to cross the road!

*blush*

Hector the Cat

#30
Davo1111:11 am, 24 Aug 08

toriness said :

your education of your child you have control over, where people park you do not.

once the child is educated on how to cross, other peoples parking preferences shouldn’t make a difference.

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