Some driving institutes use sticks or poles measuring 5 feet tall in side parking maneuvers. A few institutes are currently even using sensors.
Can a student learning how to drive and having learnt side parking using “sticks and poles” during his practical test, negotiate this difficult aspect of parking a car in the town in real life situations?
The above was asked of this blog very recently. The reader had written in lamenting she was unable to do the real life side parking in town with real cars all around her. She was unable, first of all to park her car for fear of hitting other cars around her. Her judgment, according to her, was poor.
What are we to do in such a situation?
The reader however came up with a brilliant, wonderful idea. Incorporate doing side parking using real cars parked as in real life during test. In fact, both the driving institutes and the testing authorities should give a thought to it. Pondering over it carefully, although the suggestion was good, nevertheless, it might be slightly impractical to implement.
Why you might ask?
First, side parking using real cars parked as in real life situations, will take time to conduct the tests. Secondly, cars parks in such situations require quite a lot of space. Bearing in mind, most institutes are only 5 – 6 acres in size, this brilliant idea may after all not be too brilliant after all. Much as we may wish to, consequences prevent us from adopting its implementation.
But admit I must, it’s a good idea nonetheless. It shall be K.I.Ved and brought up in future meetings with the authorities.
All is not lost, especially to the reader who mooted the idea.
In towns, there are actually a few types of parking available, do not despair. If you are unable to do side parking, as you might be still not proficient at it yet, my suggestion to you is to go for the parallel parking instead.
In future articles, maybe I might instruct you regarding how to do side parking in town which I read in the Weekender magazine, a British publication, some 30 – 40 years ago.
Meanwhile, to those who are not too good in side parking, do not despair. You have to do lots of practice. Practice, they say, makes perfect.
For a new student, doing a car side parking can be very challenging and many people failed at their first attempt during the J.P.J. practical test. In order to pass you test in your first attempt, you must know the right steps to perform side parking. The following are 8 easy steps that you can follow:
Place the car to be used for parking purposes 1 foot away from the parking lot. Reverse slowly, looking at the left quarter mirror of the back portion of the car. There are 3 poles or sticks in front. Permit the 1st pole to appear in the centre of the quarter mirror. Stop when you see 1st pole in the centre of the quarter mirror.
Turn the steering 2 times to the left. In other words, jam the steering. This is step No.2.
There are 7 to 10 poles at the back of the parking lot. All institutes have the same type of parking lots approved by J.P.J. authorities.
Move the car backwards or reverse slowly, looking out of the car window to look for the 5th stick. The car body should ideally be in line to it. Stop, when the 5th pole is seen. This is the 3rd step in side parking.
After seeing the 5th pole, stop and turn your steering 2 times to the right. This represents straightening of the steering wheel. Putting your head out of the window, reverse slowly towards the parking lot, while at the same time looking at the back, rear tyre of the car. Ensure that the back rear tyre sit on top of the white line. This represents step No.4.
You are now ready to go into the parking lot. Turn your steering all to the right. Jam it, if you may. Move slowly backwards and into the parking lot. Let the car enter the parking lot 80%, looking and ensuring that you do not knock any of the poles behind.
When 80% of the car has entered the parking lot, stop.
Turn your steering all to the left. Engage 1st gear and move forward slowly but do not turn your steering in any way. Go forward, watching and ensuring you do not hit any of the 3 poles in front.
When the car is parallel to the parking lot, stop. It is not important if your car is not straight. As long as you do not hit the sticks, of your car tyres are not touching the lines, you will be considered to have passed.
Finally, put your head out of the window, to certify that your tyres are not touching the lines, then put up your hand to indicate to the tester that you’ve completed all your parking movements.
The next step is to reverse the car backwards to come out of the parking lot. To do this, just reverse your car backwards, looking and ensuring that your vehicle does not knock any of the poles behind. Stop, when you observe that your car can come out of the parking lot.
Turn your steering all to the right. Engage 1st gear and move forward, going out. Stop momentarily the moment your car engine comes out of the parking lot. Turn your steering 2 times to the left. Move forward slowly and turn your steering to the left further. Slowly straighten your car wheels and put the car straight.
In my opinion, my side parking techniques represent the most concise and involves the least number of steps. It is not only easily remembered by an average student, but the success rate for those attempting to do this side parking method is very high.
Do remember however that these steps have been evolved after many years of trial and errors. Other instructor and potential students should try out the procedures and discover for yourselves how effective it is.
Coming out of the side parking lot successfully, leads you next to the 3 point turn maneuver. You are in fact only a few seconds away from achieving your Competent Driving License (C.D.L.). Only the final part of your practical test, the Part 3 or Road Test remains. Secure a minimum of 16 marks and the driving license is yours.
To do anything, we should obviously have a method when teaching a student how to drive a car, for instance, the driving instructor has his ways of imparting essential knowledge to his students.
When coming to the question of side parking, which a student is expected to face in his practical test to be conducted by the Road Transport Authorities in the later stages, as an instructor, I’m always of the opinion that this maneuver of side parking is a difficult one to impart.
First of all, a person who has no knowledge of how to drive must be good at how to control a vehicle before an instructor can begin teaching the him the art of side parking or parallel parking.
As a driving instructor, I always believe teaching my students side parking is one thing. Being able to pass it at the first attempt, is another. As such, even though there are many methods an instructor can adopt, I choose the best side parking method for my students.
The best alternative needs a lot of work. Many instructor friends of mine tend to choose the easiest method out. Most of them are as what say, out to make quick money. They are out to make fast “dough”, so it is said. And they are not concerned if the students pass or fail for that matter.
After all, if you know how the driving school system is run in this country, a student who fails his side parking part of the exam the first time has to pay a retest fee of approximately RM150.
Besides this, a student who is saddled with his side parking failure has amongst other things to deal with:
i) The frustration and disappointment of facing the second attempt.
ii) Face with quite expensive retest fees.
iii) Having to apply leave from work, school or college to attend the 2nd test.
iv) The problem of having to learn all the steps of going up the slope, side parking and the 3 point turn all over again.
The above are all encompassed in Part 2 of the J.P.J. practical test. Even though a student can appear for the retest a week after his or her first test, if you think about it carefully, it is a bit of hassle all the same.
As a driving instructor who has been involved in this driving school business for well over 40 years now, I firmly believe in the concept of teaching my students the best I can. When it comes to side parking, as such, my record in side parking is as high as 95% success.
In today’s article, I will explain to you diligently how side parking is done. The method used by me is mine alone. I do not lay claims that my method is the best. Readers and other instructors may either choose to adopt it or otherwise. They are free to do whatever they like.
Before beginning to do side parking, an instructor has to ensure that a student can control the car well. This is what we term as “perfect clutch control”. The inability to execute perfect clutch control, a student then has no proper control over the entire vehicle.
To achieve the above, the instructor is advised to take his student to an empty area in his institute’s premises. I’m sure there are many such areas in your institute where you are attached to.
After explaining carefully to the student positions of gear one and reverse gear and how to execute correctly, make the student go forward and backwards a number of times. While doing this, it is unnecessary to step on the accelerator at all. The important thing is this maneuver is to control the clutch properly.
The student should be able to control the clutch well. The car should ideally be able to move forward and backwards as slowly as possible. When the student is capable of controlling the clutch and the car moves perfectly, the instructor can then decide whether perfect control of the vehicle has been achieved or otherwise.
Some students may need a longer time than others to master this maneuver. It depends on individual students. Believe me, the time spent on this “practice runs” is well worth the effort. Your student will eventually be able to control the vehicle so expertly that it will end up making your teaching your student side parking rather easy later on. Because you see, the ability to control a car well is actually the key to good side parking techniques.
Jerking forward abruptly, engine dying off, the car going forward and backwards uncontrollably are all signs that a student cannot possibly control a vehicle well. How then can he or she to be imparted the difficult techniques of side parking. Do you get the point what I am trying to impart?