Mystery parking police stick it to Joburg's 'jackass' drivers
Putting notices on badly parked cars is common in Mzansi, but this unofficial traffic warden has made a special effort
The parking police are in town.
Someone is driving around Johannesburg letting drivers know when they are “parking like a jackass”.
The mysterious unofficial traffic warden has gone as far as printing “You park like a jackass” notices.
Last week, notices were placed on the windscreen of two cars parked in Linkwood Hospital’s lot. They also suggested how the drivers could fix it: “Be considerate of others. Take parking lessons. Ask a friend to show you how to park. Get a driver to park. Give up driving. Stay away from public places.”
The hospital management was not aware of the notices since they had not seen them and they had not been mentioned to them.
“We do not condone behaviour of this kind and would certainly never have sanctioned the use of such signs on our premises. We have alerted the security team at the hospital and they will be on the lookout for anyone posting notices on vehicles in our parking area,” said Netcare Linksfield and Linkwood hospitals general manager Louis Van Der Hoven.Sticking notes on badly parked cars is fairly common in South Africa, with some keeping it simple with “You can't park” and others being creative with “My four-year-old can keep in the lines better than you”.
But playing parking monitor could turn violent.
“We absolutely advise you to not get involved in a personal confrontation because we know it is going to escalate. You really have to ask yourself if getting into a verbal fight or something physical is worth the effort.
“It is the same as road rage. If someone doesn’t stop for three seconds at a stop street, or doesn’t use the indicator, are those few seconds that are raising your blood pressure worth ruining your whole day over?” said Automobile Association spokesman Layton Beard.
He said many people take badly parked vehicles personally.
“People believe there is a right way to park and a wrong way to park, and if people do park incorrectly they actually are not just being discourteous to other drivers, they are also simply being rude. Some take it personally.
“If you feel that someone has parked extremely badly, and that you really feel that you need to do something about it, I would advise that you contact the security personnel of the mall or wherever you are and highlight this,” Beard said.
Beard said sticking an offensive note on someone else's car should never happen.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right. You are not the traffic warden. You are not in an official capacity and we absolutely advise you against it.”