Perils of parking: Use these tips to stay safe in the city

  • Read the road signs, avoid a fine
  • Dodge those dodgy dark places
  • Use your local city knowledge
PLAY SAFE WITH PARKING: Spend a little time searching for a slot - and note your surroundings. Image: RoadSmart / Newspress
PLAY SAFE WITH PARKING: Spend a little time searching for a slot – and note your surroundings. Image: RoadSmart / Newspress

FINDING a parking slot can be so absorbing that drivers sometimes forget to have a serious look at the area or place in which they have chosen to leave thousands of rands-worth of automobile.

Sometimes, says UK road safety organisation RoadSmart, people forget about checking before they lock and go yet this can turn out to be costly or merely irritating.


RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards in London, Richard Gladman, suggested to Carman’s Corner a number of worth-considering tips – especially when parking in a city.

We suggest you take five to absorb them…

    • Pick the right spot. Whether you’re out with friends or off to watch a movie alone be conscious of the area in which you choose to park. The far end of a dark car park may not be the safest choice to return to late at night.
    • Costs of parking. Always carry change, a cellphone or a bank card. If you’re not a change carrier leave a few coins in your coin compartment and close the lid.
    • Timing is everything. Try to avoid any location you know will be busy at peak times or wait for the key time when the parking regulations change. Always check the local signposts and markings as ignorance is no defence against a fine.
    • Take your time. Don’t succumb to time pressure or people around you. Rushing could lead to a costly mistake.
    • Always check whether a parking permit is required; take note of where you parked – the street name perhaps, or the nearest landmark or big store. In a strange city or a huge car park it can be easy to lose your car.
    • Spot the danger signs: for example, parking next to the trolley bay on a Saturday afternoon, broken glass in the darkest corners or parking next to a scruffy vehicle or people carrier. Young children don’t think about other cars when they fling the door open. And some shoppers are careless about how they park the trolley.

Gladman said: “The competition for parking can be really fierce in some towns so stay calm, give yourself time; flexibility and local knowledge will help a lot.

“If you want to stay healthy, save money, perhaps even avoid a mugging, then parking a little farther away and walking can be a win-win.”

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