“Ghost parking” – a potential accident risk

dateSaturday, October 7th, 2017

Our guest author Christoph Becker informs about the dangers of ghost parking – and the penalties for illegal parking.

If you are on the motorway in the evening and want to take a break, you know this situation. It is often associated with considerable difficulties to catch a free parking space at the rest area. As a truck driver it is almost impossible. Therefore, the image of parking trucks in entrances and exits to rest areas, but also to the emergency lanes become more and more part of the daily perception. In this case, the unauthorized parking at these locations bears an extremely high risk of accidents, because vehicles parked there are hardly well-lit or even not lit at all and therefore hardly recognizable for other road users. On the rest areas, too, chaotic conditions often occur because there is not enough free parking space available. The police know about the problems of truck drivers who have difficulties in complying with the mandatory driving and resting times due to the huge lack of parking spaces, however, parking must not in any way endanger other road users.

Parking on rest areas

Parking trucks in the area of entrances and exits at resting areas represent an extreme risk of accidents. They are often badly or not illuminated at all and are detected too late. Prohibited stopping and parking at a resting place to the left of a roadway (part 295), as well as outside the predefined parking areas, may be punished with a fine of € 10 to € 35. In the case of a blockage, especially if a passage for rescue vehicles is no longer ensured, the immediate continuation of the drive can be ordered. If there is a traffic accident involving personal injury, this will result in a financial penalty or imprisonment.

Trucks are parked on the strips of the road on many sections of the road. This is not allowed and is consequently penalized by the police.

Basically, parking is allowed in parking lots and rest areas wherever it is not forbidden by the road traffic regulations (StVO). If you find the traffic sign 314 “parking”, the parking of trucks is allowed.

Stopping and parking at the edge of the road marked with a solid white line (part 295 StVO) is prohibited. Especially in the dark, in the area of the access roads to rest areas and in front of gas stations, this frequently leads to rear-end collisions with serious consequences.

Prohibited stopping and parking at a resting place to the left of a roadway (part 295), as well as outside the predefined parking areas, may be punished with a fine of € 10 to € 35. In the case of a blockage, especially if a passage for rescue vehicles is no longer ensured, the immediate continuation of the drive can be ordered.

Written by Christoph Becker

Police chief inspector and road safety consultant at police Münster.
The department for road safety of police Münster informs drivers of commercial goods and persons free by sending regular "information-mails". We will keep you up-to-date on news and changes in the social rules (driving and rest periods). Information on digital recording equipment, cargo securing and anything that might be important to you, we will pass on to you.
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E-mail: vsb.muenster@polizei.nrw.de



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