Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tips For Parking Lot Safety

No, this isn't just another boring post on "parking lot safety." You know the routine: "Parking is a privilege, not a right. Make sure you remember that, or you'll be circling the block forever."

No! I do not buy that particular line of pious bullshit. The only time I "agree" to it is on the driving exam every eight years when you have to agree to it to get your license renewal.

My own feeling on the subject, and I hope you agree with plain common sense as I see it: I have (and you have) just as much right to park as the next guy. No questions asked. But I do agree with one point of orthodoxy -- and you'd have to be a fool not to -- that we need to be responsible and maintain safety in these three areas: 1) Arriving; 2) Staying; and, 3) Leaving.

Arriving -- If someone else is already in the space I want, obviously I cannot, and should not, try to park there.

Staying -- It's important to lock your doors. Also to check your backseat when getting back into your car. Someone might be lying in wait. Which would usually be no one you want to deal with.

Leaving -- This is critical. I check behind the car to make sure I won't be running over anyone, especially a child. An adult needs to be more or less responsible, but a child is naturally senseless.

However, I do not check the undercarriage of the car. If someone is under there, clinging to the bottom of the car, I feel that I'm within my rights not to notice them. Who can reasonably expect it often enough to waste the time it would take every time to check? Similarly, if they've managed to open the hood, and crawl in on the motor, and there's no apparent sign of them, I'm simply going to start the car as normal and drive off. If they get ground to death in the gears, or cremated from the extreme heat, I have to say, being realistic, that's their problem.

Maintain safety in your parking space. But also let reason be your guide.

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