The parking mistake you think others make

How often do you see a vehicle parked parallel to where the road has a continuous white or double white road centre line?

What has the driver done wrong? Are they doing anything wrong?

This is an issue we covered in RoyalAuto in November 2009, March 2011, June 2015 and September 2016.

Parallel parking to where the road has a continuous white or double white road centre line, Road rule 169 and 208

And judging by the letters, e-mails and social media comments we’ve received, it is still widely misunderstood despite the relevant road rule being introduced in November 2009. The relevant road rules are 169 (yellow edge lines) and 208.

Unless parking signs or a yellow kerbside line show otherwise, and provided there is at least three metres of clear road between the car and the centre dividing line for other cars to pass, a driver can parallel park opposite both double continuous dividing lines and a single continuous dividing line.

The diagram on the right helps explain this.

A particular location to watch for this is where a single white centre line is used on a local road before it intersects with a major road, or along a local road that has a bend.

Parking where a single white centre line is used


When the rule was introduced in November 2009, Councils shortened their continuous white centre lines so that more kerbside space could be used for parking. They did this by painting black gaps in the continuous lines so they became broken lines. However, since then, in many places the black paint has faded away and the lines again look like continuous white lines. This can make it difficult to determine where it is legal to park – you may know that it was a broken line but a parking officer could fine you for parking within three metres of a continuous line.

A solid white line in the middle of a road


If in doubt, park elsewhere. If the lines are incorrect on a local street, then call the local Council or use a smartphone app like Snap Send Solve to report the problem.

And if you were wondering, the vehicle in our title image is parked legally because the driver has allowed more than three metres between their vehicle and the continuous white centreline.

Written by Dave Jones, Roads and Traffic Manager
September 08, 2016