Unruly and illegal parking, along with deliberate disregard and poor knowledge of traffic rules are just some of the most common problems prevalent across the country. It is no secret that illegal parking is one of the biggest issues that is causing inconvenience for both the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as well as the other drivers, homeowners, pedestrians and pretty much everyone in the Philippines, making it seem like no parking rules exist in the country.
Despite appearances, parking laws actually do exist in the Philippines. Unfortunately, just like the Seat Belt Use Act, parking laws are also among the most commonly violated laws in the country, resulting in illegal parking violations as well as other problems like congestion and accidents. Plus, it ensures that the roads are clear and the possibility of hat’s why it is imperative to learn about the parking laws and parking provisions as implemented by the LTO in the Philippines.
Illegal Parking Laws in the Philippines That You Must Know
As more people buy cars, the problem of car parking intensifies, resulting in cars blocking traffic and road congestion. For this reason, the Philippine government deems it imperative to impose fairly strict illegal parking laws. It goes without saying that the areas where it is illegal to park your vehicles are places that you should’ve already known before you got your driver’s license, if you already have one.
Regardless, in case you don’t know or you already forgot, here’s a refresher on the locations and areas where you aren’t allowed to park and the reasons behind them.
Roadside and areas with a ‘No Parking’ sign
According to the parking policies in the Philippines, it is a given that it is illegal to park in no-parking zones and in areas with “No Parking” signages including roadsides.
Private roads with parking rules
Being private alone isn’t enough to make private roads restricted to parking. If they come with parking rules, then the parking rules apply, and it usually means they are off limits to parking.
Blocking a driveway
Blocking a driveway is perhaps one of the most annoying and dangerous things a driver can do. Not only does it serve as a burden for the homeowners who are getting in and out of their houses, it could also potentially lead to a life-or-death situation in times of emergencies.
Parking on sidewalks
Having your car parked on sidewalks means blocking the sidewalks as well as the pedestrians from using them, putting them and other drivers in danger from oncoming traffic.
Parking in Residential Areas
Residential areas usually come with private roads and their own set of rules and regulations. That said, it is necessary to be cautious or to ask the homeowner association or the community security guard for permission when parking to be sure that you don’t block driveways or double park, or block narrow roads.
At or inside an intersection
Parking at or inside an intersection is illegal. If you are thinking about parking a vehicle on the corner of an intersection with lights, then you may want to park your vehicle no closer than 6 meters away from the stop line of an intersection instead.
Parking near pedestrian crossings
Parking near or on a pedestrian lane or within a few meters from the approach side of a pedestrian lane will cause your vehicle to obscure pedestrians’ view of the road, preventing other vehicles from driving towards the crossing and seeing pedestrians. It is particularly important especially for visually impaired pedestrians as drivers have to be able to see them as soon as possible. This is different from pedestrian crossings at intersections with traffic lights, although you have to make sure that you don’t cross onto the pedestrian crossing at a red light.
Double parking or on the driver side of a parked vehicle
Just like how it is prohibited to obscure the driver’s view of the pedestrians, double parking on the driver’s side of a parked vehicle can pose risks, hence, it is not allowed.
Vicinity of footbridges
Parking near the vicinity of a footbridge works the same way as parking near pedestrian crossings. It obscures the driver’s view of the pedestrians, which could be dangerous.
Parking along all major national roads
Major national roads often get a huge bulk of motor vehicles on a regular basis. Parking in there would take up space, resulting in congestion and disruption of traffic, so prohibiting parking in these places makes sense.
Parking at least 4 meters from a fire hydrant
Parking too close to a fire hydrant can cause blockage which can potentially lead to a life-or-death situation in times of fire and similar emergencies.
Parking at least 4 meters from a fire station entrance
Parking too close to a fire station may result in disrupting the work of firefighters which could cause more harm to others, so it is also prohibited.
Consequences of Illegal Parking in the Philippines
The government imposes rules and regulations regarding parking to discourage motorists from parking anywhere else other than designated parking areas. Not only does it pose risks and danger to drivers and pedestrians but it could be disruptive in times of emergencies. For these reasons, the LTO also clarified the corresponding consequences of violating parking laws. These consequences translate to LTO penalties or fines which may vary depending on how grave your violation is, where you committed it, and the rules and regulations of the LGU or the private community you committed it on.
Nevertheless, the penalties or fines imposed by the LTO aren’t supposed to be punishments. They are meant as a deterrent for violators in hopes that you’d take great care to avoid breaking the law. In cases when violators can’t be deterred, here are some of the things that can happen when they are caught parking illegally.
Depending on the apprehending officer or the circumstances of the violation, you might only get a demerit point on your driver’s license as a penalty for illegal parking. This means that you don’t have to settle the violation and pay any fine. The downside is, you will not be eligible for a 10-year license when you renew.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has set the standard fines for illegal parking:
- P200.00 to P1,000.00 for Attended Illegal Parking which involves illegally parking with the driver still in the vehicle.
- P150.00 to P1,000.00 for Obstruction or for those who parked their vehicles on the side of the road or sidewalk without authority.
- P500.00 to P1,000.00 for Unattended Illegal Parking or those who left their vehicle without a driver inside.
Clamping is a common consequence for illegal parking, usually on public roads. Other than deterring violators, one of the primary goals of clamping is to push violators to attend to their ticket violation and settle it right away so the car owner can take their car home. In some cases, it might even be towed.
Parking violations resulting in clamped vehicles can usually be resolved by paying a fine. The exact amount will depend on the rules and regulations of the LGU or the national government unit that’s behind the clamping, but the fine is usually around P1,000.00.
Towing and Impounding
Towing and impounding is, perhaps, one of more extreme consequences of illegal parking in the Philippines. But, if the authority needs to urgently remove an illegally parked vehicle on the road, they will tow and impound it. Some LGUs even allow its citizens to call an LGU-approved towing service to remove a vehicle blocking their driveways or parking.
Unfortunately, paying the fine for a towed and impounded car is a pain both in the head and the wallet. First, you have to pay for the violation:
- P1,000.00 for attended vehicles
- P2,000.00 for unattended vehicles
- P1,000.00 for obstruction
Then, you’ll have to pay for the towing fee, which may depending on the type of the vehicle and how far it was driven to the impounding area:
- Light vehicles (less than 4,500kg): P1,500.00 for the first 4km, additional P200.00 per succeeding km.
- Medium vehicles (4,501kg to 7,500kg): P2,500.00 for the first 4km, additional P200.00 per succeeding km.
- Heavy vehicles (7,501kg and above): P4,500.00 for the first 4km, additional P200.00 per succeeding km.
We know, getting fined for violations, especially parking violations is inevitable. For more information, you may read this guide to learn how to check if you have received demerit points or violations online.
These are the things you should know about illegal parking violations and fines in the Philippines. Sure, it’s best to know about these things so no one can swindle you out of your hard-earned money using illegal parking schemes. But, the bottom line is, you need to be careful where you park, because if you inconvenience, disrupt, or violate the privacy of people, then you might be committing an illegal parking violation and may soon have to pay fines or settle penalties. After all, nobody likes to be penalized or charged for fines all the time, right?