--
 
Top new models for SA

From Renault's new Alaskan bakkie to the latest models at the Frankfurt motor show bound for SA.

Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Can you park facing oncoming traffic? Legal vs. illegal parking in SA

2016-10-12 07:00

PARKING WOES: Your parking may be obstructing the road and could land you a hefty fine. Image: iStock

Charlen Raymond

Cape Town - Cars parked facing oncoming traffic, vehicles jutting from driveways... motorists park their cars in all directions throughout suburbs in SA.

Some choose to park facing the opposite direction to traffic as it's 'convenient'. Some leave half their vehicle jutting from driveways, obstructing the road.

While this may seem innocent (at least within in a suburb), parking illegally can lead to a hefty fine or your vehicle being towed away.

Parking in SA

Howard Dembovsky, national chairman of Justice Project South Africa (JPSA), discusses parking in residential areas.

1. Wheels24: Is it illegal to park facing oncoming traffic?

JPSA: Yes it is illegal. The law prohibits it and I would hazard a guess that the reason for this has something to do with the fact that we drive on the left of the roadway and therefore, pulling off from such a parking would cause the driver to drive facing oncoming traffic.

2. Wheels24: What does the law say and can you be fined?

JPSA: All laws can and should be applied within the framework of the law. There is no “strong” or “mild” version thereof however, people should take note of Regulation 305(6) which caters for the removal and impound of that vehicle and this can be a very costly experience.

Whereas 'parking fines' ranging between R250 and R1000 (sometimes more) are catered for with respect to unlawful stopping and parking offences, it is at the discretion of the traffic officer whether to have a parked vehicle towed away and impounded, and getting that vehicle released will cost at least R2500.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a timeframe within which to pay impound fees. You will not get your vehicle back until you have paid.

3. Wheels24: What are some of the issues caused by parking incorrectly?

JPSA: 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”.

4. Wheels24: Are there rules to parking on your own property?

JPSA: Yes but motorists need to understand that your own property is that area which is confined to the property to which only you have access and does not include the verge of the road outside your property. It does not include any portion of your property to which the public have access.


Do you have any questions/comments on parking in residential areas? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

5. Wheels24: What's the correct way vehicles should be parked in residential areas?

JPSA: Roads in “suburbs” are not specifically contemplated in the National Road Traffic Act or its Regulations. Roads within urban areas however are.

When contemplating parking of vehicles, one cannot do this in isolation of prohibition against stopping and therefore, both Regulation 304 and 305 of the National Road Traffic Regulations must be contemplated. Regulations 304 and 305 read as follows:

304. Stopping of vehicles

Except in order to avoid an accident, or in compliance with a road traffic sign or with a direction given by a traffic officer, or for any cause beyond the control of the driver, no person shall stop a vehicle on the roadway of a public road-

(a) alongside or opposite an excavation or obstruction on the public road if other traffic would be obstructed or endangered by such stopping;

(b) within any tunnel or subway or on any bridge or within six metres of any tunnel, subway or bridge;

(c) on, or within six metres from the beginning or end of, any part of such roadway where the normal width thereof has for any reason been constricted;

(d) in contravention of any road traffic sign;

(e) on the right-hand side of such roadway facing oncoming traffic;

(f) alongside or opposite any other vehicle on such roadway where such roadway is less than nine metres wide;

(g) within the railway reserve at a level crossing;

(h) within nine metres of his or her approaching side of a pedestrian crossing demarcated by appropriate road traffic signs; or

(i) in any other place where the stopping of a vehicle would or would be likely to constitute a danger or an obstruction to other traffic.

Check out this YouTube compilation of bad people parking badly:

305. Parking of vehicles

(1) No person shall park a vehicle on a public road-

   (a) in contravention of any road traffic sign;

   (b) in any place referred to in regulation 304;

   (c) on the same side as a fire hydrant within an area bounded by the centreline of the roadway and lines at right angles to such centre-line one and a half metres on either side of the hydrant, if such hydrant is clearly visible to and recognisable as such by drivers of moving vehicles, or if it is indicated by an appropriate road traffic sign;

   (d) in any place where the vehicle would obscure any road traffic sign;

   (e) in such manner as to encroach upon the sidewalk, if any; or

   (f) in such manner as to obstruct any private or public vehicular entrance to such road.

(2)  The provisions of subregulation (1)(e) shall not apply to any vehicle, other than a motor vehicle, while it is being used in carrying on the business of street vendor, pedlar or hawker, unless it exceeds such maximum weight, height, length or mass as may be prescribed in these regulations.

(3)  No person shall park a vehicle on any portion of the roadway (excluding the shoulders) of a public road outside an urban area or with any part of such vehicle within one metre of the edge of such roadway except in a parking place demarcated by an appropriate road traffic sign.

(4) No person shall park a vehicle on the roadway of a public road within an urban area—
   (a) within nine metres of the side from which he or she approaches a pedestrian crossing demarcated by appropriate road traffic signs, unless such parking is permitted by appropriate road traffic signs;

   (b) within five metres of any intersection unless such parking is permitted by a road traffic sign;

   (c) upon or over the actuating mechanism of a traffic signal;

   (d)(i) with the outside of any left-hand wheel thereof more than 450 millimetres within the roadway; or
       (ii) where the public road concerned is restricted to vehicles moving in one direction and the vehicle is parked on the side of the roadway, with the outside of any right hand wheel thereof more than 450 millimetres within the roadway, unless such parking is permitted by an appropriate road traffic sign; or

   (e) which is less than five and a half metres wide unless the public road concerned is restricted to vehicles moving in one direction and such parking is permitted by appropriate road traffic signs.

(5) No person shall park a motor vehicle on a traffic island or in a pedestrian mall or pedestrian lane.

(6) Whenever a vehicle has been parked in contravention of any provision of the Act or any bylaw made under the Act, or in contravention of or in disregard of the directions of any road traffic sign or notice board as prescribed in these regulations, such vehicle may be removed or caused to be removed and impounded by a traffic officer, and unless the vehicle has been so parked in the course of a theft thereof, the owner shall bear the costs of such removal and impoundment.

(7) No person other than the disabled person or a driver of a motor vehicle conveying disabled persons, which motor vehicle is issued with a sticker for conveying disabled persons shall park on a parking bay reserved for disabled persons.

To rephrase the above would not only be impractical but would also be pointless, given the fact that it is pretty clear.


Do you have any questions/comments on parking in residential areas? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.


NEXT ON WHEELS24X

Inside Wheels24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.