So, I always thought that motorists only resorted to hazard lights when they’d broken down. But it seems some drivers are using them as an excuse for illegal parking. Should parking wardens be dealing with this?
You might have seen the big hoo-ha yesterday about a 6% increase in the number of traffic wardens, which is costing caught drivers £96 on average. I don’t know whether the wardens are on the look out for hazard-light squatters, but if they are I’m all up for it.
Take today: I’ve seen several cars, vans and lorries flashing away like Christmas trees. One car stuck them on just to park on double yellows to drop a kid off at school – as if all indicators flashing in unison equals no ticket.
Another driver pinged on the yellow bling because they clearly couldn’t master parallel parking, and so opted for blocking up a lane.
Hazard lights and illegal parking
This bugs me. As a driver it can be really frustrating when you see a car parked with what looks like their right indicator flashing to show that they want to re-enter traffic. Naturally, cars slow to let the driver out, but it’s only when they get close to the parked car that they realise it’s the hazards that are twinkling and the driver’s not even in the car. So a stream of traffic is further clogged up, and all because someone wants to pop into the shops.
As a pedestrian, it bothers me even more. I’m put at risk unnecessarily by drivers who double-park because they don’t want to find the nearest legitimate curb-side spot.
The Highway Code says the following about hazard warning lights:
‘These may be used when your vehicle is stationary, to warn that it is temporarily obstructing traffic. Never use them as an excuse for dangerous or illegal parking.’
Surely most motorists must understand this? From my experience it doesn’t seem they do.
Now, I don’t know how many people have been scared, injured or worse because of the actions of such hazard-light misuse, but I’m sure it’s not uncommon. This isn’t to say hazard lights don’t have a legitimate use. If my car broke down on the motorway, I’d put on the hazards to let other motorists know that I’m stationary and potentially in their way.
The question is; are parking attendants giving these hazard-light squatters the benefit of the doubt? I’d welcome some more positive action from parking attendants. Ticking these drivers off might not add to their quota of fines issued for illegal parking, but it would do us all a favour – wouldn’t it?