As everyone knows, it is illegal to park your vehicle across a residential driveway — but what if it's your driveway? There are numerous circumstances where parking across your driveway is more convenient than pulling inside it; from quickly popping inside the house to dropping off another family member. If the driveway belongs to you and nobody else is blocked in, it should be legal. Right?
Photo: Josh Larios, Flickr
Unfortunately not. All states and territories in Australia prohibit motorists from blocking their own residential driveways. As exemplified on the Brisbane City Council website (emphasis ours):
Drivers must not park on or across a driveway or prevent access to a property. This includes parking in your own driveway outside of the property boundary.
Blocking in residents is just one of the reasons vehicles aren't allowed to park over driveways. Other reasons for this law include keeping the footpath clear of obstructions, allowing other cars to use the driveway for turning around, and ensuring emergency services have easy access to the property.
It can also impede your next-door neighbours' view of the rest of the street when they attempt to pull out of their own driveways. This could potentially lead to a collision with an oncoming vehicle that would otherwise have been avoided.
If you're a jerk, you might not care about causing any of the above inconveniences. After all, it's your property, not anyone else's. However, it's worth noting that any section of driveway that extends beyond your property boundaries belongs to the council. In other words, you don't actually own the "parking area" in front of your driveway.
In any event, park rangers can't be expected to know who a vehicle belongs to when they issue a ticket. This is one instance where they're not just being miserable sticklers for the law. For all they know, they're doing you, as the homeowner, a favour.
There is some slight good news, however. In most residential streets, you are allowed to block your driveway to drop off or pick up passengers — so long as it doesn't take longer than two minutes.
Did you just catch yourself wondering if something was legal or not? Let us know and we may be able to answer it in our next Is It Legal? feature.