Standing in a Parking Spot to ‘Reserve’ It can Cost You

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Parking bay hoggers risk a minimum RM2,000 fine or six months behind bars if convicted.

The Royal Malaysia Police on its Facebook page on Thursday (Sept 20) said that it is against the law to physically place oneself in a parking lot to prevent other vehicles from using it.

The attempt to “reserve” a parking spot is classified under the law as unlawful interference and importuning under Section 50(3) of the Road Transport Act 1987.

“Those who are on the road or at any parking spot (besides the authorities), with the intention of directing a driver to park or reserve a parking spot is deemed to have broken the law under Section 50(3) of the Road Transport Act 1987.

“The penalty will increase for subsequent offences,” read the post, adding that this problem did not only occur in Malaysia.

“What is clear, such actions are not only irresponsible and frustrating but endangers the self,” the law enforcers said on its official Facebook page.

“If any person, otherwise than with lawful authority, remains on any road or at any parking place for the purpose of importuning any other person in respect of the watching or cleaning of a motor vehicle, or for the purpose of directing any driver of a motor vehicle in respect of parking on such road or at such place, he shall be guilty of an offence.

“And under Section 119, the penalty for such offences is a fine up to RM2,000 or jail up to six months and the sum and tenure will increase for subsequent offences,” the post added.

The provision, however, indicated a ceiling to the penalties for repeat offenders, capping the fine to RM4,000 each time and a maximum 12 months jail term, or both.

Accompanying its public service message was a picture montage of several viralled stills of parking bay offenders, with the word ‘Dilarang’ or ‘Prohibited’ stamped in the centre.

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Recently, online community boards and other social media platforms have been awash with pictures, even video clips of parking bay hoggers who either stand directly on the bay or place objects to prevent other motorists from occupying the space.

With more and more cars on the roads in urban areas, especially in popular shopping malls ahead of peak festive seasons, parking has become one of the most common problems to contend with.

It has sometimes led to more dire incidents, such as collisions and injuries when a car goes the wrong way or reverses into people

Such acts also often lead to arguments and squabbles.