We see it everywhere, parking like that is nevertheless prohibited and the fine is very steep

We see people everywhere doing this to park yet it

Many drivers do this to park. This maneuver has become very common but the practice can be expensive.

It is sometimes very difficult to find a place to park your car. This is all the more true in urban areas that are generally busier, where parking spaces are often taken. The search for a place to park your vehicle often takes many minutes and can even exceed an hour when you are going to an event bringing together a lot of people, such as a concert or a sporting event. The situation then puts our nerves to the test behind the wheel to the point, sometimes, of having no other solution than to turn around.

To avoid such a snub, many motorists will do anything: park on a sidewalk, in a space reserved for taxis, in a delivery space, on a pedestrian crossing and even in front of a private gate. This is obviously prohibited by the Highway Code and punishable by a fine. There is a slightly more complex case in which drivers park without really knowing if they are breaking the law.

Sometimes tired of going in circles for too long, some people jump at the chance as soon as they see a free space in the other direction of traffic. When turning around is impossible due to lack of space on the road, the maneuver consists of cutting into the opposite lane and then making a gap at full speed before declaring victory.

Is this rather common practice authorized? Perhaps, like many, you think that if you carried out your maneuver without being seen by the police then you no longer risk anything. However, this is not the case because in France, article R417-1 of the Road Bend stipulates that in built-up areas vehicles must be parked in the direction of traffic. In other words, on a two-way street, the driver’s side must be on the side of the roadway and not the sidewalk. The reason is quite simple, it meets safety rules since parking against the flow of traffic can create dangerous situations, both when parking and when leaving, because it requires crossing a traffic lane and then maneuvering in front of vehicles which arrive head-on.

If seeing your vehicle parked in the opposite direction to all the others around it has an original side, know that it is especially easy to notice for parking officers. So, even if no one has seen you cut the road to park, the simple fact of parking in the opposite direction of traffic in built-up areas is considered an infraction of the Highway Code. It results in a 2nd class fine which does not result in loss of points on the driving license but in a fixed fine of 35 euros. The penalty can be even more severe if you are caught in the act since driving in the wrong direction, even for a few meters before reversing into your parking space, is punishable by a 4th class fine, i.e. a withdrawal of 4 points and 135 euros to pay. The niche is expensive…