Misleading Parking Signs

Ever felt mislead when it comes to parking or road signs? It’s actually surprisingly common! Most of us will have at some point experienced a misunderstanding when it comes to road signs- it’s easily done. Sometimes the print might not read clearly, perhaps part of the sign is damaged? Most importantly who is to blame for these mistakes? The council in which the signs are located? But surely it’s the drivers responsibility to know the area they are driving in and the signs that will likely appear in these places!

There has been a new study into how parking signs have been confusing motorists all over the UK. In some cases, these misunderstandings have been so bad that they have led drivers to be penalised for their unintended actions!

But is this fair? After all, if the signs in question are proved to be misleading, surely there could be some scope for drivers actions to be overlooked!  

The poll was carried out by well known car insurance company Churchill. It found that from those fined, clamped or who had their vehicle towed away in the last two years, a significant 22% claimed that they didn’t fully understand the parking restrictions in place in the particular area. This is a worrying amount, that more or less equates to around one fifth of drivers in the survey.

From the same study, 41% of the 2,001 people who were questioned spoke of highly confusing car parking signs. A large 33% of the drivers said that they actually went out of their way to avoid parking in their local town or city centre completely for this very reason!

But if you think that’s bad, a further 9% said that confusing parking restrictions/signs were to blame for them avoiding parking in their own residential area.

Driving around the more congested city areas is quite a normal thing for many experienced drivers to do. Who wants to be stuck in mile long traffic queues after a long day at work? Parking is a big problem in the larger cities like London. Avoiding the busier town centres because of sign confusion was found to be a popular theme that was more prevalent in London. It’s here that 48% of motorists admitted that they would not even bother trying to park in the heart of the UK capital.

Among the rest of the statistics, we found that the north west of England was also a hot spot for people avoiding parking because of mixed message signs! 35% have been avoiding town centres completely. Next was the east of England with 34% and south east England at 32%.

The finds were very starling, and may force many local councils to sort out their act in terms of making parking signs much more readable. Churchill Car Insurance head Steve Barrett claimed: “technically, it is the driver’s responsibility to check out the parking restrictions in operation for a particular area…However, there are often multiple restrictions in operation on a single street. It’s these that can result in motorists being confused and unknowingly parking illegally and go towards creating avoidable fines.”

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