A Conversation for International Driving Laws

Parking against the flow of traffic

Post 1

Researcher 173689

IMNSHO the reason the that in Engalnd (and Ireland) they permit driving over the oncoming traffic lane to park is that so many drivers in those countries cannot for the life of them do a reverse park. Parking against the flow of traffic allows them (often) to park by driving forward into the parking spot. It is actually an insane practice and very dangerous as I am sure that you have experienced, unless you have no road sense at all. For exampleI am sure you would find it very disorientating suddenly having headlights shining at you from your "wrong side" ie. (in Britain) the left hand side.

Parking against the flow of traffic

Post 2


Err, I don't know what country you are from ,but it better not be from the US!

I know live in California, and having just past the driving test out here ( I had to prove I could reverse in a straight line for ~10 feet) and having driving over here for a year or so, I can confirm that we Britons drive (as a whole) a damn site better. I think I've seen worse driving in France, but thats about it. Even Australia, where they drive on our side of the road, but allow undertaking seem to be able to control a car better than your average Californian.

Maybe its the large percentage of automatics, that make people lazy, but the parallel park, and reversing round a corner ( yes, the last one is a waste of time, why the hell not just make a 3 point turn..) are not even part of the test. I find having to park a certain way round a major pain. Its nothing to to with not being able to reverse park, and certainly not to allow you to drive forward into a space. Thats a habit I've noticed a lot out here, and it contributes to the problem. You cannot get a car into a space as easily in forward as you can in reverse (in reverse the car steers like a boat, and pivots around the wheels closest to the gap (the rear ones) - much better directional control.
Actually your average American car steers like a boat at all times, but thats a whole different topic!

I contest its because the average cannot safely navigate traffic, so the law stops them from getting anywhere near the situation of having to turn round in the road, to get over the other side. Plus the fact the average American car has about the same turning circle as the QE2, makes it damn near impossible to turn around in the average road.

Ok, so I got a parking ticket this morning, for parking overnight outside my girlfriends apartment. No signs, no markings on the curb, but a 21$ fine none the less. Gotta love Menlo Park police, at least they had to get up at 4.58 AM to catch me smiley - winkeye
At least London police would wait till you were 2 inches over the double yellows, then fine you 40 quid.

And they don't shoot you if you argue smiley - winkeye

Parking against the flow of traffic

Post 3

Rumplestiltskin U17+5+(5*5)-5=42

Yes, I fell foul of this horrible little law a few years ago. I had been living here in the USA for several years already, but had never come across this law before (perhaps because I live in awful suburbia where everything has huge parking lots so no-one parks at the side of the road anyway). I was convinced that the law was a tax on tourists / foreigners. It is completely irrational.

I sort of agree about the driving abilities comments, with the proviso that up here at least (in Washington State) the general civility of drivers is much better than in (say) Greater London where I lived before. Perhaps because of the pervasive erratic behaviour, people are much more tolerant if you need to make (say) a late lane change when they finally decide to announce that your lane has become "right turn only" or whatever. Although I think I perceive a gradual worsening of this as the traffic gets worse.

And that's another thing, the road signs here are abysmal. Quite apart from the fact that they don't conform (of course) to international standards, they are very counter-intuitive. And many of them are sentences which take several seconds to read, parse and understand. Not to mention the writing on the road which is upside-down.

I can't end without saying how sad I feel that I am having this conversation now, and how much I wish I had discovered this site before this week.

Parking against the flow of traffic

Post 4

Little Bear

Researcher 174637 as an Australian driver you've got me beat. Overtaking is a phrase I've know, but undertaking is a new one to me. I am assuming you don't mean overtaking on the nearside or passenger side of the vehicle. I wouldn't try that kind of trick over here or your likely to meet the local highway patrol officer very quickly, and thats never a pleasent experience, nor a cheap one either.

Another question relates to the expense of parking and driving tickets in different parts of the world. In Australia parking contrary to the flow of traffic will cost you about $60 dollars (Aust) which is about $35 (US). At the other end of the scale exceeding the speed limit by 45 km/h or more will set you back $1500 (Aust). How does this compare to other countries, and do people believe that large fines change driving behaviour.

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