Has Russia found the solution to bad parking and errant parkers? I am almost willing to give this a try! Let me explain.
Several weeks ago, during spring break, my son and I decided to go to Chic-fil-A for lunch. We drove completely around the building finding no parking spaces when, at the end, we saw what at first glance appeared to be a parking space. But alas, there was a car there–straddling two spaces and DEAD CENTERED on the line between the two. I commented (I don’t quite remember what I said, but something about “really?”) and then I looked again and realized that the DRIVER WAS STILL IN THE CAR.
Once again, I looked and thought “hey, I can actually squeeze in on the right there.” So I did. I was actually inside both lines of my parking spot (although by default I had to be far closer to the line on the right.) My son was surprised I was able to do it. Then, as I looked to see if I could get out on my side the woman in the car (the errant parker) started gesturing at me with her fingers. Nothing obscene, just… hand waving. So I rolled down my window, and she did hers. And then it began.
“You can’t park there. You are going to hit my car with your door.”
“I will try not to” I replied, then added “But if you weren’t taking up two spaces we wouldn’t have this problem.”
Her response floored me.
“Well, driving isn’t my forte’. You are going to have to move.”
I actually was speechless. Not that I was at a loss for words. I just knew I shouldn’t say the many things that went through my mind at the time. So I responded with a simple “Well, just back up and park your car in the full space on the left and we won’t have a problem.” Seemed simple enough. Once again, her response left me without words.
“I’m not going to do that.” BAM!! She told me!
Now–on to Russia. Apparently a local newspaper there has developed a phone app with a very interesting “back end.” You take a picture of a car that has been parked poorly (apparently driving isn’t the Forte’ of a number of people–and it knows no boundaries!) Here’s a description from a LinkedIn article.
Russia is many things: a country with a rich cultural heritage, the largest natural gas exporter to the EU, and a crazy place to drive. Indeed, anyone who has driven anywhere in Russia is aware of the legendary aggression of the motorists. In order to combat this, the online Russian newspaper “The Village” launched an app aimed at shaming “douche bag” drivers. The app, called “Parking Douche” allows users to take a picture of the plates of a vehicle that is illegally. The image recognition technology reads the plate number and finds the driver’s name. The offending driver is then shamed on the banners of the “The Village” website. The application won a Golden Lion last year at Cannes in the “Mobile” category and it’s easy to see why: the idea was a wonderful way for people to call out bad driving and to vent about “parking douches”.
Now, check out the video of the app.