The road safety office of MAYO COUNTY COUNCIL is highlighting a parking practice in Ireland that is extremely dangerous and an inconvenience to other drivers. This is parking in the opposite direction to that of the traffic flow.

Parking against the flow of traffic is not illegal in Ireland and but can be hazardous, particularly when exiting from the parking place. At all times you are advised  to park or stop your vehicle so it faces the same direction as the flow of traffic. In some European countries this practice is illegal, but here it is only a recommendation that drivers “Do park facing in the same direction as the traffic”. ( UK Rule 248 of the Highway Code states "you MUST NOT park on a road at night facing against the direction of the traffic flow unless in a recognised parking space.)

The drivers attempting this manoeuvre must cross into the lane of oncoming traffic, reverse against the flow, hold up anyone approaching, and make a nuisance of themselves. When leaving their spot, they repeat the process in reverse order. This is especially dangerous at night when the headlights blind other drivers who are on their own side of the road. There are numerous problems which can arise – not least of which is endangering other traffic. When we speak of other traffic this does not only mean other cars. Pedestrians, pedal cyclists, motorcyclists and all manner of other motor vehicles are also included in the word “traffic”.

Noel Gibbons Road Safety Officer with #MayoCountyCouncil said “One danger is that traffic will slam into your parked car if your rear reflectors are not facing the proper way, particularly in poor visibility such as fog or rain and also at night time. This type of parking becomes particularly dangerous in unlit areas, where the rear reflectors are necessary to alert passing cars. These cars would be shrouded in darkness as the drivers passing by wouldn't be able to see them properly.Please don’t just park you vehicle conveniently ,park it safely for your safety and the safety of other road users. Page 132 in the rules of the road sates where possible park in the direction of the traffic. Its not a specific offence but there is an offence for dangerous parking ..depending on the circumstances - 5 Penalty points on conviction and a court fine” 

Meanwhile, motors parked the correct way would be visible and illuminated by headlights bouncing off the rear reflectors which alerts passing cars and will not create a danger when merging with traffic as they pull out of parking position.

 

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