Think before parking

Published on March 13, 2014

Lately I have been noticing an increase in people jumping at the idea to ignore rules and regulations put in place for them simply for their own convenience.

However, people are not realizing that these rules have been put in place to keep us safe or to make some people’s lives a little easier. These rules being broken are simple things such as parking in the fire lane, parking in the spot that is specifically designated for pregnant women and finally, parking in the spot that’s designated for people with disabilities.

I work at the Walmart on Kelsey Drive and there is not a day that goes by that I’m being dropped off to work that there isn't someone parked in the fire lane either waiting to be picked up or there is a taxi cab waiting for a customer to come out from shopping.

There are signs on most large businesses asking them to keep the fire lanes clear at all times in case of an emergency.

I’ve never seen someone being asked to move out of the fire lane, but in downtown St. John’s, people get tickets every day because they haven’t paid enough money for the elapsed time.

So why is it that parking in the fire lane is being tolerated? Is money more important to our city than safety? If there was a fire or some sort of emergency within the store, those few extra seconds getting cars to move out of the fire lane could cost someone their life.

Large businesses and the city should be following procedures and keep the fire lane clear at all times for the safety of others. Small things like having a manager asking people to move every now and then or asking the city to be able to ticket people who park there with no hesitation.

I also see people taking advantage of the wheelchair or disability parking spot in almost every shopping centre in the metro area. I think this is utterly ridiculous when people without parking permits, who are not eligible to park there, just think they can go ahead because they think it’s OK if they won't be long.

This is not an acceptable excuse.

The same goes for the car full of men I see parking in the spot eligible for expectant mothers. You are obviously a male unable to conceive a child, therefore, unless you have someone pregnant in the car, you should not be able to park there.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who needs one of those parking spots. How would you feel if you were in a wheelchair and had to park at the bottom of the parking lot?

It’s unfair and unreasonable when there are designated parking spots available for those in need. I think this is a problem most people see regularly or, like myself, on a day to day basis. But rarely do I ever see someone speaking up on this matter.

It’s not only parking spots at risk, however, it’s jeopardizing the health of others in need in our society.

I understand that when, in a rush, it’s hard to pay attention to where you’re parking your car.

However, we need to think of others and remember one small gesture can truly make a difference.

 

Megan Lahey

St. John’s