Car 1, pensioner 0

16 Dec

Parent in Bristol blocks private lock-up garage with his car and heads for the primary school with young child. 83 year old man opens the garage and pushes the blocking car into the road. Crowd gathers, the man tries to drive off picking a man taking his number plate on his bonnet, child runs for safety. For this and a similar incident 2 weeks later the 83yo is banned for dangerous driving, receives £1,100 in fines and costs, and is made to give £620.59 for damage to the parent’s car and £200 for the man who was picked up on the bonnet.

Clearly this is a mess but is it not part of the bigger mess outside every school? The parent who parked anti-socially appears to have been fully compensated and got significantly more than the guy who was taking down the number plate who was rammed. The driver seen stopping in the yellow school zone box didn’t even raise a comment in the news reports because it just isn’t news! New regulations will soon ban the use wheel clamps on private property, such as the land outside the garages, to stop such anti-social parking. There is incidentally a newish law against blocking a dropped kerb with a parked car, but this driver was, I believe, parked on private property so that probably doesn’t apply.

In general this gives permission for this mess to continue regardless of who is inconvenienced. He had rented the garage for 20 years and had previously tried to get Bristol City Council to do something. The recorder said “No doubt you were severely irritated with the long-existing parking problem… but … you can’t go taking the law into your own hands.” If he can’t and the council won’t and the law provides no basis for the police to act then what? It seems that users of these garages will probably just have to realise that they will not be able to access their cars at pick up and drop-off times! I notice that this video was been watched nearly 460,000 times and that most of the comments on the Daily Mail article support the older driver.

3 Responses to “Car 1, pensioner 0”

  1. David Hembrow December 16, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    The arrogance of people who do this is amazing. In Cambridge we had the same thing. People who would park their cars across the end of our drive-way, or even in our drive-way at the time they dropped of their children. Some would do so even if they disappeared into the school for half the morning.

    As you know (you were once my boss), I always cycled to work. As a result, on one level this didn’t matter. However, had this happened on an exceptional day when we wanted to drive, just say we had an appointment at the hospital for one of our children, or we were off on holiday, or something, then we would have had a huge problem.

    This was caused simply by drivers not wanting to walk half a dozen metres further to the school with their children.

    We walked to (a different) school with our children, just to find that there were cars all over everything when we got there. There is a solution, but it’s not being taken in the UK.

    My sympathies are with the 83 year old. I am sure this is not the first time this has happened to him. It’s the sort of reaction which almost inevitably happens when someone has been pushed again and again.

  2. Peter Miller December 16, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Hi Dave. Good to hear from you and have a good Xmas!

  3. Graham Martin-Royle December 18, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    I’m fully on the side of the pensioner, the breathtaking arrogance of the driver, parking like that with no thought as to any problems for anyone wanting to get in or out of the garage. I wonder what their attitude would have been if the pensioner had wanted to get into the garage and had parked right behind this car, blocking it in?

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