The driver of a Smart car has had her £50 parking ticket rescinded, after the courts decided that she was not breaking any parking laws by parking at a right angle to the pavement, and despite the fact that the front of the diminutive car protruded from the parking bay lines. Experts have warned, however, that nobody is entirely sure whether this style of parking is legal, and that drivers should be extremely cautious before attempting the same kind of manoeuvre, even if it does mean being able to park in a space that would otherwise be too small.
The Smart car was introduced in the year 2000, and it has developed quite a following. It is especially popular with town and city drivers because its tiny form means that it can nip in and out of traffic. Some imaginative owners around Europe have been known to park the car at a 90° angle to the pavement, because the car is only slightly longer than most other cars are wide. The company themselves have posted images of this type of parking on their website, and have even included details of it on their Facebook page, but one owner received a ticket when she attempted the same kind of trick.
Vanessa Price received a £50 parking ticket after her car was found to have protruded from the marked parking bay. In most cases, this would only happen if the owner parked with the side of their car too far away from the pavement, but the Smart car proved to be slightly too long to fit in. The court, however, ruled that the marked parking bays were not enforceable and were only a guide, meaning that they could not find any specific law that Price had broken.
In all honesty, while it might seem like a good way to make the most of a gap between two cars, most experts agree that it is shaky ground, and that in other circumstances, the marked lines may well be enforceable which would mean that the ticket would have stood. Until law specific to cars of the same size as a Smart car are introduced, owners are advised to park in more traditional ways.