Danger of reversing into parks highlighted

TERRI RUSSELL
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2013

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Southern drivers are being reminded of the rules surrounding angle parking, after a series of incidents in the North Island.

New Plymouth woman Jean Richard was angered this month when she was hit with a $40 parking fine after backing into an angle park in a New Plymouth carpark.

The NZ Transport Agency has also asked for clarification over a similar case in Wellington.

While a quick survey of southern streets last week found few cars reversed into angle parks, southern councils have reminded drivers of the rules.

Invercargill City Council traffic management officer Eddie Cook said enforcement officers had issued tickets for reversing into angle parks in the past, but he could not say how many.

"It is a dangerous act to reverse into an angle park.

"That's how accidents occur. Cars don't expect you to stop and reverse up," he said.

Gore District Council roading manager, Murray Hasler, said he was not aware it was a problem in Gore, but reversing into angle parks in the town was illegal.

The 2011 Gore District Roading Bylaw states that the front of a vehicle parking into a marked angle park should face inwards towards the kerb or footpath.

Queenstown Lakes District Council transport manager Denis Mander said that up until two years ago, people had to reverse angle park in Marine Pde.

Members of the public complained and said it would be easier to go in straight, and council changed the rules when it rebuilt the road, he said.

In other areas, no cases were recalled and fines of $40 would be issued only if the parking was inconsiderate, such as across two parks or obstructing flowing traffic, Mr Mander said.

Southland District Council roading administrator Yvonne Warnaar said it had no bylaws related to the issue because in many cases it was "simply not doable".

Drivers would have to drive against the flow of traffic to reverse into one of the angle parks, she said.

Dunedin City Council team leader parking enforcement Daphne Griffen said that while reverse parking was not illegal, there was one parking area that prohibited it because it would obstruct a footpath.

From an insurance point of view, it would be safer to reverse park and drive out facing the road, she said.

terri.russell@stl.co.nz

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