Friday, October 23, 2009

Parking Laws - 2

As I've already mentioned where and how you can park a query now leads me to define the differences in the 'state' of the vehicle

Usual warnings that I am not a lawyer so check first.

When a car is purposefully not moving (i.e. not in a queue of traffic etc.) it can be in one of various states. You can be -

Picking up/dropping off, or

As with a lot of UK law the definitions are a little fuzzy and rely on common sense however some commonalities of the various states have arisen. It's also worth remembering that one state can override another if the terms are met.

You are parked if the engine is turned off or the operator of the vehicle is not in the operating position of the vehicle. That doesn't mean you can leave the engine on and get out that's leaving a vehicle uncontrolled and is an offence.

You are waiting if the engine is turned on and the operator is in the correct position. However waiting has a time limit (roughly three minutes) after which you are deemed to be parked.

Although from a yellow line point of view there seems to be no difference, this separation does apply in car-parks. If you are in the vehicle with the engine running when your ticket expires you are not parked you are waiting (do remember the time limit though until you're now deemed to be parked) and is one of the reasons that the word "Park" is replaced with "Stay" on most notices.

[Single and double yellow lines apply to both parking and waiting.]

You are loading or unloading if you are picking up or dropping off pre-paid items. Loading up a vehicle with goods you've just bought does not fall under the definition of loading. So parking your vehicle buying something bulky and then putting it into your vehicle is not loading. Buying something bulky, parking your car and then putting it into your vehicle is loading; and vice versa. Expect some discretion to be shown though.

[Additional - Loading/unloading has to be a continuous process, so no stopping off for a cup of tea halfway through]

[Single and double yellow lines do not apply, but kerb markings do]

You are dropping off or picking up if you are visibly picking someone or dropping someone off, as with waiting there is some small allowance to allow the person to start to get in and out again roughly three minutes. Strictly speaking there is no time allowance for getting in or out of a vehicle in theory you could take half-an-hour, but common sense dictates here.

To add to the fuss if the operator needs to assist someone in or out of a vehicle things get confusing. If you turn off the engine you're parking, if you leave it on you're leaving the vehicle uncontrolled. Examples suggest assistance is deemed part of the dropping off/picking up procedure so long as it is dropping off or picking up. Huh? Well if you get out to help someone into a vehicle then nip into a house/shop to pick up something of theirs that's two separate 'states' on the other hand helping them in with their baggage that was with them at the time can be deemed part of the pick-up drop-off; it's fuzzy.

[Single and double yellow lines do not apply, neither do kerb markings]

Stopping. Generally deemed to be when you have broken down and/or are unable to move the vehicle under its own power.

[Single and double yellow lines do not apply, neither do kerb markings]

Some more caveats there are other types of road edge markings which prohibit parking, waiting etc.; the general rule with the majority of these are a simple don't unless you specifically know otherwise. I'm also not dealing with disabled parking as, to an extent, that's a local matter as to what you can and can't do and again anyone in possession of such a pass should automatically make themselves aware of the rules that apply.

Well I hope that gives some small help to those stopped by officious attendants who don't know the law.