DRIVER ED: Avoid these pitfalls of parking lot driving

Opinion Apr 14, 2016 by Ed Mizzi Flamborough Review

Parking lots are a modern day maze. They are jammed with cars, busy people and shopping carts – all moving in different directions in one tight confined space. It’s no wonder they are one of the most common locations where vehicle accidents occur.

Ontario is the only province or territory in Canada where the Highway Traffic Act does not apply to parking lots.

But that does not mean we shouldn’t treat them the same way, in a responsible and safe manner. And, while charges may not be laid by police officers, there may be charges under other federal, provincial or municipal laws. Further, the location of an accident has no effect on fault determination for insurance purposes.

For example, you can get a ticket for parking in a fire route ($250) or disabled parking ($450) without a permit. I recently witnessed an inconsiderate driver pull up and park (the wrong way, in a fire zone) in front of a Waterdown grocery store. She left her car running and went in to shop.

Sometimes drivers forget or ignore the rules of driving when they are in a parking area.

A parking lot is private property and you must obey the posted signs. Some locations, such as a mall or plaza parking lot, may have stated rules about its use, and some property owners will have police handle issues and accidents on the property.

Here are some common scenarios that occur in parking lots and their ramifications:

• If you back out of or into a parking space and hit a parked car, you are at fault

• If you hit a legally parked car, you are at fault

• If you hit an open door of a parked car, the owner of the parked car is at fault.

• If two vehicles both back into each other while leaving a parking spot, both may be at fault

• Vehicles travelling on a main traffic pathway have the right of way over those coming from feeder lanes

• If a person drove recklessly and damaged your car or almost hit you as a pedestrian, that person may be charged by police under the appropriate legal code

• If you back out onto a feeder lane or thoroughfare and another car hits yours while you’re backing out, you are considered at fault

• Stop signs in parking lots are there to protect pedestrians and other drivers, just like on regular roadways. If you fail to stop and hit someone or another car, you are at fault.

In addition, please be courteous. Take one spot only; be careful when opening your doors; give pedestrians the right of way, especially when it is rainy and cold outside; don’t expect others to put your cart away and please slow down.

If we work together, we can all make parking lots safe places.

I highly recommend visiting the former website links for more important information: www.wheels.ca/news/are-shopping-mall-parking-lots-above-the-law and www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/do-the-rules-of-the-road-apply-in-shopping-centre-parking-lots/article4216574.

If there is a topic you would like to see covered in this column or if you have a driving-related question, please email edmizzi.mizzi@outlook.com.

DRIVER ED: Avoid these pitfalls of parking lot driving

Opinion Apr 14, 2016 by Ed Mizzi Flamborough Review

Parking lots are a modern day maze. They are jammed with cars, busy people and shopping carts – all moving in different directions in one tight confined space. It’s no wonder they are one of the most common locations where vehicle accidents occur.

Ontario is the only province or territory in Canada where the Highway Traffic Act does not apply to parking lots.

But that does not mean we shouldn’t treat them the same way, in a responsible and safe manner. And, while charges may not be laid by police officers, there may be charges under other federal, provincial or municipal laws. Further, the location of an accident has no effect on fault determination for insurance purposes.

For example, you can get a ticket for parking in a fire route ($250) or disabled parking ($450) without a permit. I recently witnessed an inconsiderate driver pull up and park (the wrong way, in a fire zone) in front of a Waterdown grocery store. She left her car running and went in to shop.

Sometimes drivers forget or ignore the rules of driving when they are in a parking area.

A parking lot is private property and you must obey the posted signs. Some locations, such as a mall or plaza parking lot, may have stated rules about its use, and some property owners will have police handle issues and accidents on the property.

Here are some common scenarios that occur in parking lots and their ramifications:

• If you back out of or into a parking space and hit a parked car, you are at fault

• If you hit a legally parked car, you are at fault

• If you hit an open door of a parked car, the owner of the parked car is at fault.

• If two vehicles both back into each other while leaving a parking spot, both may be at fault

• Vehicles travelling on a main traffic pathway have the right of way over those coming from feeder lanes

• If a person drove recklessly and damaged your car or almost hit you as a pedestrian, that person may be charged by police under the appropriate legal code

• If you back out onto a feeder lane or thoroughfare and another car hits yours while you’re backing out, you are considered at fault

• Stop signs in parking lots are there to protect pedestrians and other drivers, just like on regular roadways. If you fail to stop and hit someone or another car, you are at fault.

In addition, please be courteous. Take one spot only; be careful when opening your doors; give pedestrians the right of way, especially when it is rainy and cold outside; don’t expect others to put your cart away and please slow down.

If we work together, we can all make parking lots safe places.

I highly recommend visiting the former website links for more important information: www.wheels.ca/news/are-shopping-mall-parking-lots-above-the-law and www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/do-the-rules-of-the-road-apply-in-shopping-centre-parking-lots/article4216574.

If there is a topic you would like to see covered in this column or if you have a driving-related question, please email edmizzi.mizzi@outlook.com.

DRIVER ED: Avoid these pitfalls of parking lot driving

Opinion Apr 14, 2016 by Ed Mizzi Flamborough Review

Parking lots are a modern day maze. They are jammed with cars, busy people and shopping carts – all moving in different directions in one tight confined space. It’s no wonder they are one of the most common locations where vehicle accidents occur.

Ontario is the only province or territory in Canada where the Highway Traffic Act does not apply to parking lots.

But that does not mean we shouldn’t treat them the same way, in a responsible and safe manner. And, while charges may not be laid by police officers, there may be charges under other federal, provincial or municipal laws. Further, the location of an accident has no effect on fault determination for insurance purposes.

For example, you can get a ticket for parking in a fire route ($250) or disabled parking ($450) without a permit. I recently witnessed an inconsiderate driver pull up and park (the wrong way, in a fire zone) in front of a Waterdown grocery store. She left her car running and went in to shop.

Sometimes drivers forget or ignore the rules of driving when they are in a parking area.

A parking lot is private property and you must obey the posted signs. Some locations, such as a mall or plaza parking lot, may have stated rules about its use, and some property owners will have police handle issues and accidents on the property.

Here are some common scenarios that occur in parking lots and their ramifications:

• If you back out of or into a parking space and hit a parked car, you are at fault

• If you hit a legally parked car, you are at fault

• If you hit an open door of a parked car, the owner of the parked car is at fault.

• If two vehicles both back into each other while leaving a parking spot, both may be at fault

• Vehicles travelling on a main traffic pathway have the right of way over those coming from feeder lanes

• If a person drove recklessly and damaged your car or almost hit you as a pedestrian, that person may be charged by police under the appropriate legal code

• If you back out onto a feeder lane or thoroughfare and another car hits yours while you’re backing out, you are considered at fault

• Stop signs in parking lots are there to protect pedestrians and other drivers, just like on regular roadways. If you fail to stop and hit someone or another car, you are at fault.

In addition, please be courteous. Take one spot only; be careful when opening your doors; give pedestrians the right of way, especially when it is rainy and cold outside; don’t expect others to put your cart away and please slow down.

If we work together, we can all make parking lots safe places.

I highly recommend visiting the former website links for more important information: www.wheels.ca/news/are-shopping-mall-parking-lots-above-the-law and www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/do-the-rules-of-the-road-apply-in-shopping-centre-parking-lots/article4216574.

If there is a topic you would like to see covered in this column or if you have a driving-related question, please email edmizzi.mizzi@outlook.com.