Mayo County Council highlights dangers of driving habit common in Ireland but illegal in many countries
Should it be made illegal here?
The road safety office of Mayo County Council is seeking to highlight the dangers of a parking habit that is common in Ireland, but is illegal in a number of European countries.
Although it is discouraged by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and in the Rules of the Road in Ireland, the practice of parking in the opposite direction to the flow of traffic is not illegal.
The road safety office of Mayo County Council has highlighted the common use of the practice in Ireland, believing it to be extremely dangerous, hazardous and an inconvenience to other drivers.
Parking against the flow of traffic becomes a particular problem, Mayo County Council says, when a vehicle is entering or exiting a parking space.
Using images from Castlebar to highlight the problem, it is pointed out that drivers attempting the manoeuvre when entering the parking space 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, it is pointed out, 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 endangering other traffic, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Commenting on the issue, Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council, 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 your vehicle conveniently; park it safely for your safety and the safety of other road users.
“Page 132 in the Rules of the Road states, where possible, to park in the direction of the traffic. It’s not a specific offence, but there is an offence for dangerous parking, depending on the circumstances - five Penalty points on conviction and a court fine.”