Oh dear, here we go again. Why is it so difficult for some to understand the difference between ‘parking’ and ‘stopping’ a car? Last evening, during the height of the holiday shopping season with retailers pleading for trade, my significantly better half and I stopped by a local mall. We pulled into a drop off point, she got out and was going to run to the grocery store in said mall, while I waited at the wheel for her return. We were ‘stopped’, not ‘parked’.
Before she could even get in the door a mall security guard appeared bellowing that this was a no parking zone. I politely informed him that I was fully aware of that, and therefore would stay in the car, stopping it rather than parking it. I was ‘stopped’ in a no ‘parking’ zone. No problem; should the need arise for my car to moved, I would gladly do so. I’m in the car therefore I am ‘stopped’, not ‘parked’. Clearly this fellow had no grasp of the concept and ultimately cost the grocery store a client, as we moved along to the next mall just down the road, which was much more accommodating.
Let me elaborate. A bus zone is a ‘no stopping’ zone. It is against the law for me to stop my car and wait in it while my passenger dashes into a store to buy milk. A ‘no parking’ zone is one in which as long as I am in my car and ready to move it if the need arises, I am breaking no laws.
On several occasions I have had discussions with ticket agents who suggested I must put money in the parking meter even though I was sitting at the wheel of the car. My usual response is to inform them that when/if I park the car (i.e. get out of it), I will feed the meter. This tends to put an end to the debate. Never accept a ‘parking’ ticket while you are in the car in a position to move it.
Put simply, I can stop without parking, but cannot park without stopping.
I wonder how many clients will take their business elsewhere before the mall catches on and either educates its staff, or dismisses this one guard?