Morons on the road

Instant failure

Something I remember my driving instructor telling me all those years ago was that mounting the kerb was a big no-no during a driving test. It would result in instant failure.

It sticks in my mind, particularly when I see something like this:

Car parked up on kerb

This was the second attempt at parking for this guy. I watched as he reversed in once, mounted the kerb, drove back out, tried again, mounted it again, then gave up and walked away.

Bzzzt! Instant failure!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

15 replies on “Instant failure”

I can’t help thinking that if this was not a 4WD, the situation would be much different. You have to have an ego problem to have such a gratuitously obese car – flying in the face of high petrol prices and CO2 emissions.

Learning to paralell park was part of my driving instruction in the USA. I learned to drive in 1983 at age 15-16. In the USA learner’s permits are available at age 15 and licenses at age 16. There is no such thing as an L or P plate and restricted license in the USA for new drivers. We even practiced uphill and downhill parking in flat, no hills Chicago. This involves turning the wheels to rest against the curb to prevent the car rolling away in the event the brake or transmission park mechinism fails. Learning to drive here in Australia is interesting to say the least after almost 25 years of driving on the other side of the road but even I have successfully parallel parked a car here. There is no excuse for sloppy parking like this and I wonder if he is a danger to others when actually driving.

The phrase ‘more money than sense’ comes to mind.

I remember (I’m over 40) when marques like Mercedes were a rich person’s car. We saw very few when I grew up, except at weddings, for example.

Now so many of us are well off enough to buy them and Beemers etc. that they are common place. Or is it that they have gone down in price relative to our earnings over the years?

Anyway – old fashioned as I am, I don’t think one should be allowed to have such a ‘nice’ car unless one is able to drive it well and appreciate it. And that includes being able to park it.

I say ‘nice’ in quotes because, well, we’re not supporters of unnecessarily large cars, (Toorak Tractors) here, are we? :-)

I took my driving test in the ’80s in a huge, full-size Ford Bronco. A bit nervous, I turned in too tight for a parking job, hit the curb, went up a sec, and came down.

Now in a smaller car with smaller tires, I would have just bumped the curb. With the huge Bronco tires… up and back off.

Failed the test.

Better than my mother. When she took her driving test as a teenager, she ran into a police car.

– Greg

A mate of mine keeps telling me that when I drove for the first time (he was sitting next to me) I almost crashed into a Mister Whippy car. I have absolutely no memory of this but I hear that stress can do that to you.

I’m a big fan of requiring the regular re-testing of licensed drivers. Practical and regulations every 5 years or so. Mind you, we’re not required to roadworthy our vehicles regularly… (unlike NSW, etc)

i work in West Perth, and Hay Street (main street) is ridikulous! its all the most expensive cars that have the most appalling drivers and parking.

I also think that Merc and Beemer 4WD are 100% unecisarry! let alone the new Porch 4WD thats out now? do they actually go 4WD-ing??? very few i’d say! just get a larry and your good mate!

and paralell parking isnt that hard if you just take the fools steps your mumma taught ya. i score it first time every time and i learnt to drive in a massive VB Commodore Station Wagon with no power steering.

People like this i want to put a stone in their tyre caps.

Commenting on Jed’s “This involves turning the wheels to rest against the curb” :
Make sure you know whether you are parking up-hill or down-hill. With the wheels facing the wrong way, your car can still find a way onto the middle of the street ! DOWN – towards the kerb , UP – from the kerb as the car will then try to reverse into the kerb. VERY usefull in the alpine areas.

Though most people seem to insist that either the car behind them or in front of them must have perfect brakes :-)

May I suggest helping these kerb-mounter people by applying a parking clamp as a secondary (permanent) brake system ???

All the same – it’s not hurting anybody is it? And lots of maneuvering to get those wheels perfect is just wasting petrol and rubbing off a bit more tyre rubber isn’t it? Personally – if a park I have made is safe and not incoveniencing anyone else I leave it. There are more important things to worry about.

Yes and no Hendo. While I agree this specific example didn’t hurt anybody, there’s a line to be drawn. Cars belong on the road, not on the footpath. Once they mount the kerb, the potential is there for all sorts of danger if pedestrians are in the vicinity.

Yeah, I know where you are coming from Daniel, but there are some people you know aren’t going to manage that park in 10 attempts let alone one. For people trying to cross the road between the parking car and the parked cars, cyclists trying to get past with a car pulling in and out of a park several times and (though I hate to say it) for other cars trying to get past it is probably more risky to try to correct it than leave it as it is. I am the first to object to truly stupid parking, but this guy was probably doing the rest of us a favour by giving up!

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