• Parking on verges could be illegal

    Parking on the grass could be illegal if the Government has its way.

    “The rule amendment is one of many likely to pass unnoticed, as it’s part of a bigger raft of changes to Land Transport rules headlined by amendments to the cell phone regulations,” says NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild president Jacqui Madelin.

    “The government’s discussion paper expresses concern about damage to the grass surface and access for pedestrians where there’s no footpath, but dismisses safety concerns,” she says.

    Most drivers park on the grass where parking on the roadway would obstruct traffic or risk an accident. Any parked vehicle may reduce visibility, but keeping the roadway clear should be a priority.

    Perhaps of more concern to homeowners is that it’s not always easy to be sure where the grass verge ends and your garden begins.

    “Few people know it’s already illegal to drive a motor vehicle on a lawn, garden or other cultivation that is adjacent to a road,” she says. “It’s a moving offence but parking officers can’t ticket it – a policeman is needed.”

    “The Guild supports road safety, and many of the minor measures in the 42-page discussion document. There should be a speed limit when towing a disabled car; we should wear our seatbelts properly; but not all the proposed amendments are as sensible,” she says.

    The Guild urges New Zealanders to have their say. Simply log on to www.nzta.govt.nz/consultation, click on the ‘Draft Land Transport Rule’ and read what’s proposed – the overview is clearly laid out, and it’s possible to make your submission by email. Deadline for submissions is October 16.

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