Tailgating out of car parks is perilous

Thursday, 18 May 2017

by: Sacha Oerlemans

A tailgater races out of the car park so that they don't have to pay. Many car parks are plagued by this problem. "Injuries or even fatalities are just a question of time."

Employees at car park operators have had enough of motorists who race under the barrier without paying. "It's very dangerous", says Mark van Haasteren, managing director of Q-Park Netherlands.

Not paying

Why tailgating? Because some motorists think they don't have to pay. At Q-Park, we've installed special cameras in several car parks to see how big the problem is. The estimate is some 15,000 cases a year in the 260 Dutch Q-Park-car parks. We've found that there is no difference between the big cities and the provincial towns.

Shocking

When we first saw the footage of a car tailgating out of a car park, we were shocked. Motorists just shouldn't do that! It's not about the loss of income, in fact, at Q-Park we haven't even calculated how much it costs us. It's just that it is really dangerous to tailgate!

Car park exits are usually in the public space, such as where people are out shopping, often parents with children. Look at the Bijenkorf car park in Amsterdam, there are always people milling around the exit. At such places people are alert to passing traffic that they can see, but they don’t keep an eye on a car park exit. Particularly because motorists usually exit a car park very carefully and at walking pace.

Flooring it

But anyone who wants to dodge the barrier, will have to floor it. We have seen many near misses on our camera images. Pedestrians who have to jump aside, cyclists who escape by the skin of their teeth.

Since Q-Park has been campaigning against the problem, the number of offences has decreased slightly. Thanks to the special cameras and collaboration with debt collectors, we can now find out who the offenders are. These people can count on a hefty bill for the unpaid parking fee, the cost of the debt collector, and a fine for the offence.

This can add up to 300 euro. At Q-Park we hope that this amount will serve as a warning to motorists.

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