The Pedestrian Strikes Back
December 10, 2007

From Greg Milam, Sky News Europe Correspondent

Europe’s pedestrians are revolting.

Tired of having to fight their way past badly-parked cars, people all over the continent are coming up with all sorts of innovative protests.

And they range from the simple to the sort that could land you behind bars.

Park in the wrong place in Brussels, for example, and someone will lift your windscreen wipers. It has become a city-wide statement of protest.

In France, a group called ‘Deflated’ discovered that letting the air out of car tyres was legal as long as no damage was done to the car.

Whether that is true or not is still open to question – and it certainly isn’t going to get the car moved quickly.

Elsewhere in Europe, you might find your car covered in mud if you’ve left it somewhere inconvenient to a passer-by.

Perhaps the most painful protest I saw came here in Brussels. Someone picked on a friend’s gaz-guzzling 4x4 and put a note under the windscreen. “Why not just have a penis enlargement, rather than driving this thing around?”

And then, invented in Germany, there is “car vaulting”. Never heard of it? Here is a demonstration…

The biggest problems – and the most drastic protests – have come in Greece.

A group called Streetpanthers spend their nights putting bright orange stickers on badly-parked cars: a picture of a donkey in a car and the message: “I park where I want”.  So far they’ve handed out a quarter of a million stickers and another group, Pezee, staged street protests recently.

And they all point to the case of Tassos Pouliasis.

He was walking in central Athens when an illegally parked SUV blocked his path. He was about to walk in the street to go around it when he snapped.

“Why not go over it?” he thought. And at that moment he engaged in what is now commonly known as “car vaulting”.

Unfortunately for him he set off the car alarm. The owner was furious, the police were called and Mr Pouliasis was accused of vandalism.

He faces trial next year and could be sent to prison for four years.

“All I did was exercise my right as a pedestrian. No one, not the police, the car driver or even a single bystander, could see beyond my action to realise that there was a blatant traffic violation to begin with.”

At least it has put the issue in the headlines – will the motorist listen?

Written by Sky News, December 10, 2007


In our town motorists regularly park their cars across wheelchair access points and when it is pointed out they turn on you as if you had physically attacked them.
They obiously do not have disabled people in their religion. You can teach driving and parking but obviously not manners.

Indeed, it doesnt matter whether you drive a "Silver Shadow" or a 4x4. Pavements are for the people, and roads for the car. Well said "Atlantic Starr". Anyway, if there has been no damage to the car, perhaps the authorities ought to look at the time they spent on this complaint and had a chat with the owner, at a venue of choice no doubt!

Try being an inconsiderate parker in TX, we'll hire a crane and move your car for you. Have a nice day

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