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Monday, May 20, 2024
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Parking Courtesies

3 min read
Make parking a pleasurable experience by adopting courteous habits and avoiding bad behaviour.

We’ve all heard of road rage, and how some drivers’ on-road antics make us see red. A related phenomenon that’s every bit as real is parking rage. It’s when a driver’s inconsiderate behaviour in a car park leads to the manifestation of annoyance built up in others. Extending courtesy and good manners to fellow drivers can be as simple as respecting the shared space of the parking lot.

It’s a simple concept: park within the boundary. Parking lots are clearly demarcated with lines; these lines are done to make sure that, when you are parked, your car doesn’t hinder traffic or obstruct other road users. Drivers who purposely straddle between lots clearly show either ignorance or arrogance. There are others who frequently misjudge the lines, so it’s always good practice to look back at how you’ve parked instead of walking off immediately after parking. If you’re too close to one side, or have actually crossed over, get in the car and re-park!

Ever found a vehicle parked in front of your parked car because someone had to run an errand? This is a prime example of selfish behaviour. This wouldn’t be so bad if it it’s just a quick drop-off or pick-up that takes less than a minute. But if the culprit is in a long queue for a takeaway order, it is inconsiderate and could possibly invite heated tension. If you need to run an errand, enlist someone else’s help to do it while you wait in the car. This way, you can drive off if you need to.

Impatient drivers on the roads are a dime in a dozen, and some extend that unhealthy behaviour into the carpark. Having someone tailgate you while you search for a lot is downright annoying — more so if you’ve found a spot and reversing into the lot becomes extra challenging because the tailgater has crept up so near that you don’t have space to manoeuvre into the lot. Tailgating someone in a parking lot provides no benefit whatsoever, so just be patient.

It is an unwritten rule that the early bird gets the worm, but there are those who don’t bother to play by the rules, and will do anything just to get a lot. This includes downright dangerous moves, such as driving against the flow of traffic or treating the car park like a Grand Prix circuit. Then there are those who get family or friends to literally stand in an empty lot to fend off all other claims. Be respectful of those in front of the queue; they were there first and could have waited for a long time to get a lot.

Parking squarely in the centre of a lot provides you and others around you adequate space to enter and exit parked cars safely, but chances are that you will not be able to open your door fully without striking the next car. So never let the car door swing open — that is likely to either dent or chip the paintwork on your car door or the body of the next car. Check the allowance you have for your car door to open before opening it.

Remember to top up your Cash Card before you exit the car park. It is not a pleasant experience to be stuck at the exit gantry because of insufficient value in your Cash Card, then having to face the wrath of peeved drivers waiting their turn to exit. It’s worse if this takes place in a basement car park where the exit gantry is located at the top of a steep spiral ramp — there is no way to get out of the queue! It is thus always a good idea to have a spare topped-up Cash Card stashed within easy reach, such as in the glove compartment or the door storage compartment.