Narrow streets and a lack of off-street parking are often causes of people parking on the footpath, so that they don’t get their wing mirrors clipped by other motorists. Unless there’s a dashed yellow line prohibiting parking, people are usually prepared to take their chances.
It’s technically illegal to block the footpath, even if you’re parking partially in your own driveway. However, most councils take a very lenient approach to enforcement, only taking action if a vehicle is egregiously parked or someone complains.
This practice creates issues for some sectors of the community. If you are blind or use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, a car blocking the pavement is a very real hazard, forcing you to use the road to get around it, putting you in danger of traffic – the very thing the footpath is there to help you avoid.
The Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 states that a driver must not stop, stand or park a vehicle on a footpath or cycle path. There are exceptions for cyclists, scooter riders and suchlike.
Drivers are prohibited from driving along footpaths or the grass verge between the footpath and road, too.
As well as blocking the footpath, driving on it can cause damage to both the footpath and the kerb.
If you are penalised, then you can expect to receive an infringement notice from your local council. The council may also tow the vehicle if it’s causing a safety hazard.