Passengers and vehicle safety when parking

Know the difference between parallel and angle parking, and the rules for each. These steps and safety checks will help you master safe parking.

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Parking safety and checks

Before leaving your vehicle, make sure the parking brake is on.

If you move more than 3m away from your vehicle you must also:

  • remove the key from the ignition
  • lock all doors and windows (if there’s no-one in the vehicle).

Before opening your door, you must check your mirrors and blind spots for pedestrians, bicycles and other vehicles.

Before pulling out from the side of the road or a parking area, you must:

  • indicate for at least 5 seconds
  • check mirrors
  • look over your shoulder to check blind spots.

You must never leave children or animals alone in a vehicle. They’re in danger of:

  • dehydration and burns in a hot vehicle
  • playing with controls, such as the handbrake, gears and power windows
  • being harmed if the vehicle is stolen.

Parallel parking

This is the usual way to park, unless a sign says otherwise.

You must park:

  • in the same direction as traffic
  • parallel and as close as possible to the kerb
  • within any line markings
  • at least 1m in front of and back from any other parked vehicle.

On a one-way street, you can also park on the right side of the road.

Once you've parked, follow the parking checks above to stay safe.

Example of parallel parking showing 1m space between cars
Example of parallel parking showing 1m space between cars

Angle parking

You can angle park where signs or line markings show you can. Unless a sign or road marking says otherwise, you must park:

  • at a 45-degree angle
  • with the front of the vehicle to the kerb.
Parallel angle parking example
Example of angle parking spaces and cars angle parked
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