I am always amazed at people who don’t understand basic rules in life – such as roads being for cars, and pavements being for people.
So, I’m delighted that Aberdeen city wardens are going to start handing out £100 fines to the buffoons who think a wee stretch of footpath makes a perfect parking spot for their motor.
You see these clowns everywhere – well, maybe not them, but certainly their cars.
It doesn’t seem to occur to them that putting their car halfway up the pavement – or, in some cases, all the way on it – might be convenient for them, but it’s a damned nuisance for everyone else. Now, I can usually tut and squidge around, but parents with buggies or wheelchair users… No chance.
Then there are those who think the dropped pavements to help folk cross are just the badger for stopping up without a concern for anyone else on the planet.
My personal favourite is the magical thinking that if there are double yellow lines on the road, they won’t apply if you park on the pavement next to them. And let’s not forget the double-parkers who think blocking a road for everyone else is their God-given right.
Proper enforcement is the answer
The thing is, though, that this bold move will only work with a wee thing called enforcement. There has to be a visible campaign when these fines are introduced, to make sure people get the message, and the powers that be ensure that message is broadcast far and wide.
And, while they are at it, perhaps the authorities could ramp up enforcement of other rules of the road that some chumps see as optional.
On Palmerston Road, at the back of Union Square, there is a pedestrian crossing. You know the thing: black and white stripes on the road, big flashing yellow beacons and zigzag lines. They might as well be invisible, given the number of cars that just stop and hang around there.
I don’t care if you’re waiting for your missus who has just nipped to the shops for five minutes. I’m more interested in not having to emerge onto a zebra crossing from between parked cars into the path of moving traffic that can’t see me.
An enterprising bobby could rack up a fair amount of fines in just half an hour hanging around there. And it might even keep the rest of us safe.
There are so many examples of selfish parking that isn’t just a nuisance, but downright dangerous. I can think of at least three just in the centre of Stonehaven.
Of course, most drivers are courteous, sensible and do the right thing when parking up. But there are a fair few who are just selfish, ignorant and dangerous. And they should be made to pay for that.
Scott Begbie is a journalist and editor, as well as PR and comms manager for Aberdeen Inspired