Parking by double yellow lines

| 11/06/2017

When do the rules for parking on double yellow lines not apply? I note that Hurley’s at Grand Harbour has yellow lines in front of the store, but there are always two or three cars parked (with no-one inside them) on the yellow lines. I saw a police car drive past them this week (having to wait to do so as there was not room for both lanes of traffic) but no ticket. I presume Papa John’s pizza delivery has some sort of special exemption, given they always park there, but this seems odd.

Auntie’s answer: While it may seem that there is wiggle room when it comes to parking at double yellow lines, the law concerning this is really very straightforward. The RCIPS Traffic Management Unit (TMU) stated, “There are no exceptions for parking where there is a yellow line except for a goods vehicle to load or unload for a period of 15 minutes.”

That explanation makes perfect sense, given that the law specifies: “To prevent congestion of traffic in certain areas, the (Police) Commissioner may provide for the painting of yellow lines along the edge of the carriageway, parallel to the curb, and subject to subsection (2), a person who parks a vehicle on such lines or between the road edge and the road center where such lines are painted commits an offence.”

Subsection (2) allows for the aforementioned 15 minutes to load or unload “except in an area set aside for disabled parking or where there is a sign prohibiting the loading and unloading of a vehicle”.

Subsection (4) adds, “A person who parks a vehicle in contravention of indications given under this section commits an offence.”

Seems clear enough, right? However, the TMU representative said that when the lines are in a car park, that can cause confusion because “a lot of officers believe a car park is private property and that the Traffic Law does not apply”.

But the definition of a road is “a public place where a vehicle may be driven or parked and such areas adjacent to that place as may be prescribed”. And a “public place” is defined basically as “a place to which the public has access”.

When you add all that up, the official explained, “all car parks are considered to be roads and parking violations can be enforced”.

In the case of the pizza-delivery vehicles, I think it is safe to conclude that as long as those cars park at the double yellow lines for a maximum of 15 minutes to load up with pizza, then they are not committing an offence under the law.

As for random drivers simply parking their cars for convenience at those lines, they can and should be ticketed.

The law mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library

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Category: Ask Auntie, Parking Questions

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Someone can literally do donuts on your front lawn and all the police can do is bumble to the scene at their own pace, and if offender is still there, request that they voluntarily desist and leave. Ask me how I know. As far as the Police are concerned, the Traffic law does not apply to private property. Have had a lengthy debate with a senior constable on the topic.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If a larger vehicle like a bus or dump truck stops to pickup lunch, pampers a bottle of water etc. Should they be able to have proper parking lines or a place to park their size vehicles in the car park? If not is that discriminatory ? It’s a parking lot isn’t?

  3. I always remember a friend who was confined to a wheelchair saying that if she could walk, she would park her car as far away as possible in a proper parking spot and delight in the fact that she had legs that enabled her to walk from the far end of a car park to the shop’s door. The lazy, inconsiderate people who can walk but can’t be bothered and are happy to selfishly inconvenience other people and emergency services should be ashamed of themselves. The spot outside is clearly marked and regardless of public/private issues, the drivers who park there know that the point of the yellow lines is to say, “Do not park here”! Genuine cases where disability badges are displayed are a different matter.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Clamp the vehicles. The clamping restriction states “Public parking” so if the Traffic Law does not apply to a ‘private’ parking lot then neither does the clamping restriction.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What about Smith Cove?

    • Anonymous says:

      Govt vehicle and the Trolley Roger pretty much every day. We need Traffic Wardens.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Traffic Law (2011) only applies to public gazetted roads. Yellow lines on private roads and property cannot be enforced by RCIPS. Trespassing is an offense, but there is no ticketable fine prescribed in the Law. All they can do is politely ask owner to move the vehicle (if they can find them). We need to modify the law to give private landowners the ability to call and have a trepassing vehicle ticketed, or ideally, towed away to an impound lot. It would generate revenue and punish the many brazen idiots that just do whatever they like whenever they want – even when private emergency access areas are clearly marked as no parking.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t help when police officers flout the law as evidenced by photographs posted on social media recently. How can we expect them to ticket others when they have no regard for the rules themselves.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the worst places for it, and it effects not only traffic but also pedestrian safety. The Papa Johns SHOULD NOT be parking there at all considering just 20 metres behind there are two bays in red marked PAPA JOHNS DELIVERY DRIVERS that are always empty. Then there’s the pharmacy too which seems to be open season for parking there. Honestly, they should just pedestranise that bit by Hurleys or privatise the car park and let a local business clamp those who are ignorant enough to park there.