Do you also struggle with cars improperly parked on the pavement that obstruct the way of pedestrians? It wasn’t an issue for me in the past, and I might have also parked in a way that was most convenient to me, but since I became a mother and started going for walks with a pram, it has become a real nuisance. Nevertheless, I try to be understanding and instead of criticising the drivers who park on the pavement, I decided to prepare a gift for them.
Why is parking on the pavement such a nuisance?
I do realise that drivers care most about their comfort and the comfort of their passengers, and not about anonymous passers-by. It is perfectly understandable, especially in places where there are no other parking spaces provided. Yet it is worth realising that if a driver leaves less than half a metre for pedestrians, a parent pushing a pram will have to pull off the pavement and enter the road, often without knowing if there is a car coming (since the visibility is obstructed by the parked car). A person on a wheelchair, in turn, will not be able to pass by the car at all unless he or she is helped by others.
What can be done about cars improperly parked on pavements?
There are many possibilities.
- Some people get their feelings off their chest with the help of a sharp tool.
This reaction is only seemingly exaggerated. Believe me that if you have to go around a dozen cars parked on the pavement during a 15-minute walk, it does make your blood boil. Naturally, I don’t recommend this solution. Scratching somebody’s car may be subject to a fine or even imprisonment. Therefore, it is better to control yourself.
- Others call the police.
If the car in question is still improperly parked on the pavement, the police will fine the driver.
In both cases you will only fill yourself with negative feelings; the driver will have to pay (for paint or the fine), which will also make him or her unhappy, and the only one who will profit will be a third party (a spray shop or the Treasury).
Luckily, there is a third option.
Make a gift for the driver who parked on the pavement
I have recently read that a person rewarded for good behaviour will learn much more rapidly and retain what he or she learns far more effectively than a person punished for bad behaviour. If it’s true, you will achieve better effects by repaying the drivers who cause nuisance in pedestrian traffic with something good. Of course, it wouldn’t make sense to reward them for improper parking habits. But you can give them a gift for no reason at all or in advance.
Here are some ideas for texts which – placed behind a windscreen wiper – should bring a smile on the drivers’ face and encourage them to change their habits.
This is my gift for you. [add a lollipop or a candy to your message]
If you want to repay me, next time park in a way that will allow me to pass by your car with a pram / on a wheelchair.
Have a nice day!
In order to go round your car, I had to pull off to the road with my baby in the pram/on my wheelchair.
I didn’t report it to the police because I believe that next time you will think about people like me: disabled, parents pushing prams and older people.
Please, consider it a gift from me.
Have a nice day!
Did you know that improper parking on the pavement is subject to a fine? Buy yourself something nice for this money and consider it a gift from me. And if you want to repay me for not reporting your violation to the police, next time, please park in a way that will allow a parent pushing a pram or a person on a wheelchair pass by your car without pulling off to the road.
Thank you in advance. Have a nice day!
What do you think? If there are drivers among you, please share your thoughts.
I personally think that the effect of punishing or threatening drivers with fines will be equal to the effect of raising their awareness of the nuisance they unknowingly cause. However, I believe that both the aggrieved party and the drivers will be much happier giving and receiving gifts than criticising and taking criticism.
– You may personalise the chosen text (adapt it to your situation, add something personal), print it in several copies and put it in your bag, so that you always have it with you when you go out. Owing to that, whenever you see an improperly parked car, your irritation will be instantly replaced with satisfaction resulting from the fact that you are prepared and can make a positive change.
– You may also print these messages on stickers. This way they will be more durable and visible.
– If you have chosen text no. 1, remember to carry a supply of lollipops or candies with you!