Reporting from the front line

6 Mar

It’s been an interesting few weeks! Motorists have been fighting (sometimes literally) for the right to park their beloved cars somewhere. Police and authorities have been fighting back. People have ended up in hospital, in court and some have almost gone to jail. In one instance the police in South Africa ended up drawing guns on each other over a disputed parking space.

Starting with the good news..

Police in Loughborough will be delivering leaflets to every household in the town warning of a crack-down on pavement parking by the police and the council. In future motorists will risk getting a fine if they leave less than 1 meter of pavement clear for people to get by. The RNIB regional campaigns officer said that they were “ incredibly pleased that we have had such a positive response from all the organisations. .”

In Perthshire the police have warned drivers that they face receiving three penalty points and a £60 fine if they block pavements. The police have told drivers that they should leave at least enough room for a pram or wheelchair to get pass. They have got their work cut out, because traffic wardens locally have been assaulted on numerous occasions over the past few years with one motorist threatening to shoot a warden and another trying to run a traffic warden down.

In Bolton the police have warned drivers that if they force wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs into the road by parking on the pavement they could soon be fined £70. They launched the campaign after ‘a flood of complaints’ and their action has the support of 57% of those who responded to a poll organised by the local paper.

In Reading Labour councilors are objecting to plans by the Conservative-led council to ban pavement parking. Labour think this should only be brought in for roads where all residents have ‘adequate’ off-road parking, which they define as meaning off-road parking for ‘one or two vehicles’. I see… if the motorists ‘need’ the pavement then they get it, if not then the pedestrians can use it. Nice.

In Middlewich a parent claimed that irresponsible drivers were ‘dicing with death‘ after her 5yo son was nearly knocked down by a reversing car outside the school.

Meanwhile a man in Machester only just avoided a jail term after punching a female traffic warden to the ground – he was given a four month prison sentence suspended for a year and 250 hours unpaid work.

In Oxford a 24yo man was also given a suspended prison sentence after punching a 66yo traffic warden and dislocating his shoulder.

A survey of 3,000 motorists in the UK found that 25% of these drivers admitted to ‘verbally assaulting’ other motorists for their parking decisions or worse and in one third of cases the incidents related to parking on pavements.

In New York and woman is in a coma after being punched in the face during an argument over a parking space.

And finally…  in South Africa police from two different forces drew guns on each other when officers from one force attempted to tow away a vehicle belonging to another force from outside their offices. It is reported that the argument escalated with more and more policemen coming out of the building, fighting, and then threatened to shoot each other!

2 Responses to “Reporting from the front line”

  1. Amoeba March 6, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I look forward to the time when the mere presence of a motor-vehicle on the pavement is treated as proof that it was driven there. And that prosecution and punishment then follows automatically. I don’t know what the penalty is for driving on the pavement, but I suspect it means points on one’s licence and points in this case do not mean prizes.

  2. Graham Martin-Royle March 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    I agree, pavement parking is treated far too leniently and not given the importance it deserves. The labour councillors in Reading are beyond a joke, the idea that pedestrians can only use the pavement if motorists don’t need it is ludicrous.

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