A GUIDE TO PARKING ETIQUETTE

Cluttered Parking Lot

I’ve noticed over the last few months that good manners in public car parks is on the decline and before you say it, it’s nothing to do with the Christmas rush. I’m not sure if it’s only in the area’s where I park, or not? Almost every time I park in car parking areas, there are incidences of aggression or drivers/pedestrians being inconsiderate of others in the car park. Basic common courtesy seems to have gone by the wayside, along with patience and respectfulness. It was only a few months ago in our local supermarket car park that the side of my car was reversed into by an elderly gentleman, who did not bother to use his rear vision mirror before backing out. I was in the line of moving traffic going around the car park and stopped to let an elderly lady vacate her car park. There was not much room for her to reverse out, so I hung back and gave her lots of room. This is when the gentleman reversed into the side of my car. When I tried to discuss what had happened, he became aggressive and tried to blame me for being blocking his exit. In the end the only way to settle the dispute was to suggest that I call the police and they could decide who was at fault. Before I could get my phone from the car, he had written down his details and accepted full responsibility. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve had to access the car from the passenger seat and climb across into the drivers seat to vacate the car space. Then there’s the times that I’ve been blocked in and had to wait for a person to return so that I could leave. On one instance it was so long that I ended up phoning the council parking authority, who sent a tow truck to my rescue.

Crash in Parking Lot
Photo By: Staff Sgt. Kenneth Lewis

 

The most offensive behaviours are:

  • Poaching someone else’s car park.
  • Parking too close to another car in a parallel parking space, which blocks them in.
  • Parking to close to another car and preventing them from accessing their car.
  • Parking in such a way that you take up more than one parking space.
  • Blocking another car into their parking space, by parking your car on an angle instead of straight in.
  • Not indicating that you are waiting for a car space to become vacant.
  • Behaving aggressively while you are waiting for someone to vacate a parking space that you want.
  • Stalking someone as they enter the carpark on foot, in the hope of getting their parking space.
  • Don’t sit with your reversing lights on & then faff around while someone is waiting to take your parking space.
  • Blocking the parking isles, in the hope of a parking space becoming vacant.
  • Slowly wandering back to your car, preventing cars from driving along the isles.
  • Leaving your shopping trolley in a parking space.
  • Parking in a disability/parent parking space, when you are not authorised to do so.
  • Holding up street traffic for lengthy periods, while you try and squeeze your car into a space that is too small.
  • Damaging someone else’s car and driving off without leaving your contact details.

 

The right thing to do is:

Consider others using the parking area, and treat people how you would like to be treated.

A little patience, will save you time in the long run.

 

What does the way you behave in a carpark, say about you?

Jenni XXX

  • LydiaCLee

    Is that photo for real??? In Sydney shopping centres, people are bananas. It’s like they’ve never been in a car park before!

    • Lydia, those photo’s sure are real and what is it about car parks that makes people go banana’s? I cant wait to be in our new home that is close enough to be able to walk to shops or have a super short train ride into the city.

  • It’s not nearly as bad here as it was in Sydney, although on weekends a park at the beach is at a premium – & at the farmers market…although I’ve noticed there’s much more respect at the market then there is at the supermarket…

    • Jo, I’ve found that customers who are shopping or using businesses in the holistic sector are always more respectful. would say it has something to do with their awareness of stress and what it does to the body?

  • Can I print this out and stick it to the windscreens of the vast majority of cars in California car parks? Honestly, you’d think the lines weren’t there at all.

  • Sue Loncaric

    Hi Jenni I don’t think impatience and rudeness is just in the carpark. When I go back to my car I usually try to get in and go quickly so that people can have my spot. Some people think they have all day and take their time, knowing that others are waiting. That annoys me! We really need our patience at this time of year that is for sure.

    • Sue, that’s exactly why I love car parks that you pay before heading back to your car. Once paid you only have a short time to vacate the car park, so it usually means that people don’t hang around.

  • People tend to get annoyed at me because I walk a lot faster than my husband can some days, so (especially in summer) I get to the car and turn on the air con to cool down. So then it looks like I’m just sitting there (which I guess I am haha) and people get cranky and drive off while I’m waiting for my husband to catch up to me. Too bad for them.
    I’m also not sure I’d equate disability parking with parents parking; disability parking is a legislative requirement and parents parking is a courtesy. I think it’s a very important distinction to make.
    I avoid shops and do eg my groceries mid-week evenings, and live in a quiet beachside area so I actually don’t have many problems with parking ever in my life.

    • Ness, I beg to differ on the importance of parent parking. I had a mum park next to me recently, because all of the parent parks were full and two of which were illegal parkers. This mum was over tired, had a two week old baby and an over active preschooler with her. She urgently needed to collect something from the shops and had no one that she could call on to help her. I sensed that she was at breaking point, so offered to help her get the toddler into his pram and while she got the new baby into the front pack. At my offer of support her she became overwhelmed and burst into tears and thanked me for offering to help. She said if it had not been for me she would of probably driven off, because the thought of having to navigate a busy car park, from a lot further than the front entrance was just to much. I’m not trying to under value the impact of disability, but do see parking illegally in a parents park on the same level.

      • I didn’t comment on the importance of parent parking, merely the legality. It is not illegal for a non parent to park in a parent space. Is it bad etiquette? Highly likely. Etiquette and the law are very distinct here.

  • A ‘hot’ topic in any country it would seem! We are now driving SUVs as are many and we notice that car spaces are not actually that ‘wide’ for them. Hence, some drivers (not us as we are perfect LOL) don’t actually think of checking whether they are within the ‘boundaries’ or not. I am sure that consideration for others in so many instances goes ‘out the window! Thank you for linking up for #LifeThisWeek 47/52. Next Week: Today I will. Final Week for 2017: Christmas Plans.

    • I’m very ocd about parking within the lines in parking spaces and have been known to suggest to a hopeless driver that they might like to straighten up their car, so that that others are not impacted.

  • Oh yes yes yes. I hate holidays because of the carpark dilemmas. Shopping centres get so busy and people get irritable and stressed and I think it worsens everyone’s behaviour. I live in a small town so there are no automated parking space indicators that I’ve seen in the city. Just yesterday I drove around a carpark for about 15mins just to pop into a store to get some diet coke! #teamlovinlife

  • sydneyshopgirl

    Thank you for writing this, Jenni! It had to be said. The shopping centre car parks right now are draining my life energy. Mail order all the way. Even if I have to pay for shipping,.

    SSG xxx

    • The parking nightmare is one of the reasons we are moving, I’m so looking forward to being able to walk most places or go into the city by train.