DC Eliminates Parallel Parking Test; Why? No Place to Practice

February 10, 2012 9:02 pmBy: 

photoCan’t parallel park?  Don’t worry.  If you live in the District, that won’t keep you from getting a drivers license.

That’s right.  Even though parallel parking is one of the hardest skills for new drivers to learn and to master, it is no longer part of the road test for licensing drivers in the District of Columbia, advises AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Why?  Not enough parking spaces.

That’s right. The District DMV says there aren’t enough parking spaces to safely administer the parking test.

The failure to parallel park successfully and smoothly is a safety factor, especially for the city’s newest drivers, ages 16-20, warns the auto club. Most states require prospective drivers to prove they can parallel parkduring the DMV driving test before they can get their driver’s licenses, observes the auto club.  For three years now, District drivers haven’t had to prove it while taking the road test at the DMV.

“Let’s face it, if you don’t know how to parallel park, you probably shouldn’t be driving in the District, where street parking is scarce and the ability to park is a must-have skill set for city drivers,”  said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “It’s axiomatic, the road skills test is designed to help licensing agencies to test the ability and the skills of driver’s license applicants and to determine whether they can  drive, operate, and maneuver a vehicle in traffic conditions.”

Because of the fear of bumping into, damaging, sideswiping, or scraping the bumper or the finish off other parked vehicles, even some longtime drivers are still intimidated by the thought of parallel parking on the busy and overcrowded streets  in downtown Washington, where parking is always at a premium, and on the city’s residential streets, where finding a parking space is contentious at times,  observes the AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman. “Knowing how to parallel park is an essential driving skill in the District, where street parking is the norm, and where there is little leniency for drivers who can’t do it.”

Earlier this week, the District DMV confirmed drivers do not have to parallel park to obtain a non-commercial driver’s license, citing space and “site constraints.”  In the wake of questions about why parallel parking hasn’t been included on the road tests for three years now, the DMV said it plans to reinstate the parallel parking requirement once it finds adequate space to administer the road test.

That could happen as early as next year, if the city government is able to lease suitable space, according to Lucinda M. Babers,  the Director of the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Babers made the announcement earlier this week during a joint live parking web chat with DDOT and DPW.

 

 

Comments

More Top Stories

  • Police & Crime Politics Top Stories McAuliffe orders reforms in VA ABC police

    McAuliffe orders reforms in VA ABC police

    Governor Terry McAuliffe today ordered improved training and increased accountability for state liquor control officers, following the recent incident in which Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) officers threw a University of Virginia student to the ground and beat him outside a Charlottesville bar. McAuliffe’s Executive Order 40 takes steps to address broader concerns about ABC law enforcement by: Requiring more training for all ABC special agents in the areas of; use of force, cultural diversity, effective interaction with youth and young adults, and […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories Beyer tries again with Paycheck Fairness Act

    Beyer tries again with Paycheck Fairness Act

    Northern Virginia Congressmn Don Beyer joined Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) today in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would help close the wage gap between women and men working the same jobs. “After more than forty years in business, I can tell you that equal pay for equal work is the best way to strengthen our families, our middle class, and our economy,” said Rep. Beyer. “This is a simple bottom line issue. If you treat your employees well your business […]

    Read more →
  • Education Top Stories It’s official: Later starting times for Fairfax high schools next year

    It’s official: Later starting times for Fairfax high schools next year

    Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has announced bell schedules for the 2015-16 school year that reflect the Fairfax County School Board’s adoption of later start times for high school students while standardizing the length of the school day. High school students will begin their day at 8:10 a.m.; secondary school students—including middle school students attending secondary schools—will begin their day at 8 a.m.  All middle school students will begin their school day at 7:30 a.m. Elementary school bell schedules were […]

    Read more →
  • Business Employment McLean Top Stories McLean’s USA Today offers buyouts to 90 senior employees

    McLean’s USA Today offers buyouts to 90 senior employees

    McLean-based USA TODAY is offering buyout packages to 90 “veteran employees” — those over 55 — as it struggles to cut costs to match falling advertising revenue for the print version of the newspaper. Parent company Gannett, also based in Mclean, is shifting its investments to digital products and preparing to spin off its publishing assets into a separate company. The buyout offer applies to about 90 employees across all departments at USA Today, which Gannett said has about 600 […]

    Read more →
  • Police & Crime Politics Top Stories Virginia may limit police retention of license-plate-scanner data

    Virginia may limit police retention of license-plate-scanner data

    A bill that would limit how long police can keep the data they collect through license-plate-scanning cameras is on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s desk. The measure, introduced by Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) was unanimously passed by both houses of the General Assembly. The license plate scanners are mounted on police cars and in stationary locations. They record the license plate number of every car that passes, providing police — and anyone else with access to the data — with the ability […]

    Read more →
  • Education Top Stories Virginia K-12 schools ranked 5th in U.S.

    Virginia K-12 schools ranked 5th in U.S.

    Virginia boasts the fifth lowest dropout rate of any K-12 public school system in the nation, and the third highest rate of students taking an AP exam, a new survey by SmartAsset.com finds. It is also one of the nation’s top states for higher education. Virginia trailed Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York. The survey looked at data from the College Board, the ACT, the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Education Association. It […]

    Read more →
  • Top Stories Transportation Tysons Corner County hopes to improve life for bikers and walkers in Tysons

    County hopes to improve life for bikers and walkers in Tysons

    Despite its shiny new Metro stations and plans for the future, Tysons isn’t exactly a pedestrian paradise. It’s not a great spot for a bike ride either. But Fairfax County hopes to change that. Fairfax County Department of Transportation will be holding a public meeting on proposed improvements to enhance the safety of people who bike, walk and drive in Tysons. The meeting will be held on March 16, 2015, 7-9 p.m., in the cafeteria at Westbriar Elementary School, 1741 Pine […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories Clinton beats Webb & others handily in Gallup poll

    Clinton beats Webb & others handily in Gallup poll

    Hillary Clinton is one of a few potential 2016 presidential candidates to have a significantly higher favorable (50%) than unfavorable (39%) rating among the American public. And the 89% of Americans who are familiar enough with Clinton to have an opinion of her is more than any other potential 2016 presidential candidate. Virginia’s Jim Webb and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders are tied for last place in the familiarity category, with only 24%. Webb, a Democrat, served on term in the U.S. […]

    Read more →