For some motorists, it is a challenge to park a car within the available parking slot. It could be at home or at a public parking yard or on the street.
For the three years Hellen Katusiime has been driving her Toyota Spacio, she has not mastered the art of parking. She recalls an incident in 2018 when she parked on the street and instead of fitting her car in one slot, the car body crossed over and occupied the second slot.
“When I returned after my errands, the parking controller insisted that I pay for two parking spaces.
Felix Asaba, a motorist, parks his car at Equatorial Mall in Kampala city centre. However, he always disembarks at the car parking entrance and lets the mall parking guide park the car.
“I can only park the car myself if it does not involve a lot of reversing and driving back and forth,” Asaba says.
Practice makes perfect
Gilbert Amwine, a motorist, says he learnt how to park a car through constantly practicing to park in different places. He did not only practice in his home compound where he created parking spaces using plastic wires and cones but he also practiced on the streets.
“On Sunday, I would drive to the city centre when there are few cars on the road. I followed the white and yellow marks that serve as marks and boundaries of where a car should fit. I practiced parking in the available space while driving forward and repeated the same procedure in reverse mode. I did this every Sunday for two months and in the third month, I was much better at it,” Amwine recalls.
Cars manufactured with modern technology have rear cameras that Sharon Nanteza, a motorist, uses to park her car well. Like side mirrors, a rear parking camera will give you a dashboard screen view of available parking space, especially if you are parking in reverse mode.
“When I am too close to any obstacle while trying to park in reverse mode, the car makes a sound to warn that I am about to knock something. Sometimes, I disembark from the car and check if there is any more space to reverse further before parking completely,” Nanteza says.
Meddie Kaggwa, a parking guide in Kampala, observes that challenges associated with parking are more psychological than they are when you put in an effort and time and practice.
He advises that if your car does not have reverse parking alarms like Nanteza’s, to alert you when you are about to knock objects, use your driving and side mirrors.
“A driving mirror shows the upper rear part of your car while a reverse parking camera mainly captures the lower rear car body. If you use a driving mirror, you are able to view the two rear edges of the car without necessarily disembarking from the car. Side mirrors on the other hand show you the side marked boundaries of where you are parking,” Kaggwa advises.
Because of the fact that most commercial buildings in urban and congested areas that house office premises such as Kampala have small parking yards or do not have any at all, you may have no choice but to park on the street.
In such a situation, Meddie Kaggwa, a parking guide in Kampala, advises that you make sure that your tyres are not on the pavement or walkway.
He adds that wrong parking is not only when your car goes beyond the boundaries of the slot in which you are supposed to park but it may also extend to part of your car reaching the walkway meant for pedestrians.
If you drive cars such as Toyota Mark II or Toyota Royal Crown that are typically long in nature, it is advisable to park in the last slot or look for one that does not show car length boundaries.