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Parking fines hit five-year high

BECKIE WILSON

[email protected]

Don’t bother telling parking wardens in Masterton you’d just ducked off to find some change and were coming right back to feed the meter, they’ve heard that one before.

In fact, they’ve heard many other excuses too – and many, many times over – and very few of them cut it when it comes to dodging a ticket.

In total, 3360 fines were handed out by the Masterton District Council to wayward motorists over the 2016/2017 financial year – the highest number over the past five years.

Those tickets added up to $83,072 – about $30,000 more than five years ago – with the meter takings over that same period coming in at $155,597.

Of the 3360 tickets, the largest number were handed out for people parking on an expired meter (1314), and parking over the time limit (1192).

Other reasons for tickets were parking across a line marking (225), inconsiderate parking (206), and parking near a fire hydrant (75).

Geographically, parking wardens unsurprisingly dished out the highest number of fines on Queen St (1329), followed by Perry St (600), and Dixon St (400).

Only one fine was written for Totara St – the first in five years there – while two were issued for Harlequin St and three for Cricket St.

Under the Land Transport Act 1998, parking wardens can also issue tickets for a range of offences, including unregistered or unlicensed vehicles, having bald tyres, or not having a current warrant of fitness.

MDC finance manager David Paris said the council used parking meters and time limits to encourage turnover, allowing more people access to high-demand parking spaces.

The objective was not to generate financial surplus but to ensure rotation of parked vehicles using a financial incentive, he said.

Wairarapa Chamber of Commerce general manager Catherine Rossiter-Stead said some Masterton businesses welcomed paid parking in the CBD as it allowed for a quick turnover of parking spaces.

“However, we’re certain businesses would prefer the council to get the cost of parking right, if it’s too high it might also act as a deterrent to the casual shopper,” she said.

 

Most frequent excuses

  • I only parked like that because someone else had parked badly next to me.
  • I do have a mobility pass, but I’ve lost it.
  • But I was only parked there for a few minutes.
  • I didn’t see the sign.
  • I went looking for change for the meter.
  • I didn’t see the fire hydrant.
  • I didn’t realise that you had to pay on Saturdays.
  • I got distracted and forgot to put the money in.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I’m so sorry for parking with one front wheel about 3 centimeters over the white line. But I have paid my forty dollar fine. I did think a warning would have been justified, but I guess the fine money is needed for some thing urgent. Any way it was a good wake up call. I didn’t know you could be fined for that.

  2. Excuses 1 & 5 can be very real to real honest people..I am one of those fully clean licenced driver’, current wof/rego, unhappy to pay the fine because the car in the next bay had parked badly, and the parking attendant would of pinged us both, yay for you sir! If I park in town, it’s usually a few minutes because my legs don’t work to great and I’m due for a hip replacement in March, so yay for me! and I pay for 30+ minutes Parking & feel great to make the next person who parks in my place, have abit of credit because they forgot to top it up! So Parking Wardens have the “Power”! & they are abusing this “Power” hence to generate financial surplus” All about the money, money, money! What do you do with that financial surplus? Do the Parking Wardens get bonus’s 4 reaching their targets? why they hand out tickets so feebly. I would rather shop in Kuripuni any day, Pak n Save free parking for weekly grocery shopping, walk over to Post Shop Kuripuni to pay bills, short drive to Warehouse for any other needs & free parking with great customer service during my whole day, then I’m done & off home. I just barely manage to eat, pay for a roof over my head, pay my utilities & still pay a damn stupid fine that was of someone else’s making. I couldn’t move that car, no idea where the owners of it were, I was on limited time ..and you say it’s an excuse! heard them all before! Who made these Parking Wardens Judge & Jury? may I ask. Just another scam to rob the poor! If people don’t pay their parking tickets for whatever excuse, what happens there? Does it go to Debt Collection Agencies?, the District Courts?, putting some people of our so called Community further indebt. Community! what community? something’s wrong with the picture you paint Mr David Paris? …certainly is a “quick turnover” alright! Wow..lots of poor under-nourished needy kids out there you people, abused, neglected, dysfunctional, white & brown/black..call it what you like coz your so good at that! Merry Xmas to all the families/whanau whom have been affected in some way by these ruthless, ignorant, cold, heartless, rip-off Parking Wardens of Masterton.

    Thank you Beckie, Merry Xmas & all the Best for 2018!

    Kind regards,

    Katherine Rewai (Anon)

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