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Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Zigzags and other unenforceable annoyances.

In the current Highway Code there are a few pages covering the parking regulations, where you can and cannot park etcetera. What the few pages do not tell you is that some of these freshly painted markings may not be worth the paint they are marked with.

For example, School ‘No Parking’ zig-zag markings. You’re not allowed to stop on them, right? Er, well, right-ish actually. The head teacher at the school has to sign a bit of paper to the effect that the school agrees to the markings being policed by us local authority types. If they don’t, well the Traffic Regulation Order which allows us to enforce those markings isn’t enforceable. The Police can hand out fixed whizzers on them, but we are occasionally powerless. Which kind of negates the whole reason for them being there, which is to allow people to cross the road close to the school entrance with a clear field of view.

Sometimes we’re left chewing at our note books in frustration when people come up to us, pointing at malefactor and demanding we do something. “’Ere, ‘e’s onna zigzags! Wotchew gunna do baht it?” (It’s surprising how many people actually sound like that – and we’re not even near London – maybe it’s some kind of fashion statement thingy?). Then we’re left standing explaining why we can’t book said contravener of the parking rules.

Sometimes we’ll chance handing out the odd one or five tickets on the ‘Some of ‘em will cough up without thinking’ principle. Sometimes just looming threateningly on a nearby corner is enough to do the trick. Sometimes you get some flash gimp who, having unloaded solitary offspring from flash black motor (They’re the ones we catch most of, anyway.), speed off the moment they see you, almost running down other peoples kids, who are the reason the damned markings are there in the first place. One of these days the oil will run out and there will be no internal combustion engines, ergo, no more private cars and the problem of child obesity will be much reduced. Until then, we’ll need people like us to enforce the parking regulations.

Sometimes single yellow lines have had their guidance plates removed (and not replaced) by contractors who have been painting lamp posts or other ‘street furniture’, which means that they are unenforceable until such time as the plates are restored. Sometimes the painting contractors get over zealous and just carry on painting those tasteful double yellows a few metres too far, because Paddy O’Mick the painter was given the wrong instructions by his boss. Then there’s a row between council and contractors as to who is picking up the bill for re marking. The laughs just keep on coming folks.

Oh yes, and another welcome entry to the side bar for: Between Blinks a fellow Parking Enforcement Officer.


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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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