Those of you who drive past large buildings and shopping malls can imagine rush hours when people who work in this building arrive to work or leave every day. There would be guards from those buildings who come out and stop vehicles on the road to allow vehicles from the building to enter and exit.
The same goes for department stores. When there are a lot of customers, they would do the same thing. This leads to worse traffic jams on the road, and if the store is located near junctions, the traffic jam will extend to the other side, causing a gridlock.
Today, I will not discuss parking in buildings, but about parking according to the law and with manners, as well as parking safely so as not to cause danger and damage to your own vehicle and that of others.
Areas with “no parking” signs, red and white strips on the footpath, or areas near junctions, bridges, fire hydrants, postboxes and pedestrian crossings are already designated by law as no-parking areas, but vehicles are being parked in these areas every day.
What we should do is to tell ourselves that “we will not park here no matter what”.
When parking in front of other people’s gates, make sure you leave the gear in neutral, so that they can push your car when they want to use the entry. But it would be better not to park there at all, as it could lead to even more problems.
Similarly, you should not double park or park in a way that blocks other vehicles – this is something we also see very often such as at fuel stations with lots of people or during various festivals around the country. Sometimes, the facility’s parking area may not have enough space for all the vehicles, and you just have to park 10 or 20 metres further. However, many Thai drivers refuse to drive further but choose to double park or block others instead.
They don’t think that when the owner of the vehicle that is blocked comes back and wants to leave, they can’t. Even if you leave the gear in neutral, they will still have to push your vehicle, and sometimes they could push from the rear spoiler and that could damage it.
Many times the vehicle being pushed won’t stop and keep on moving until it hits the vehicle in front. Apart from dents on the bumper, the lights could also be damaged. And the vehicle may be pushed into a position that also blocks others as well. Best is to refrain from double parking and blocking others.
If you park properly in your own slot, leave the gear in P for automatics. For manual gearboxes, you can leave it in neutral and engage the parking brake, or leave it in first gear or reverse gear. If you are parking with the front of the vehicle close to a wall, leave the gear in reverse, and if the rear end of the vehicle is close to a wall, leave it in first gear.
This is to prevent the vehicle from rolling as well as preventing the vehicle from jerking if you don’t press the clutch properly. Many times this has caused accidents as well as injuries to people walking by. Also remember to engage the parking brake even if you have left the gear in correct position.
Another common accident is something that should never happen at all. This is leaving the engine running when you leave the vehicle, such as opening the gate when arriving home. There have been cases where the vehicle has moved ahead and crushed the driver to death against his own gate.
Sometimes parents get down to buy something and leave the engine and air-conditioner running with their children still in the car. The child accidentally moves the gearshift lever and the vehicle moves ahead and hits other vehicles or pedestrians. This is something we see in the news very often and should not be repeated.
Whenever you park, always engage the parking brake and never keep the engine running with a child in the vehicle, no matter if they are awake or asleep.