Council has bumper month for parking tickets
The number of parking tickets issued in Palmerston North soared last month.
But city council staff estimate nine out of 10 people who do not pay for their parking time still get away with it.
While the usual number of tickets issued hovers around 4000 a month, July was a bumper month, with 8952 meter cheats caught.
Customer Services general manager Peter Eathorne said the increase was due to improved work practices and making better use of the bay sensor technology.
The sensors record when a vehicle has parked in a particular bay.
Parking wardens are alerted if no payment has been made, if the time has expired, or the vehicle has overstayed on a park with a time restriction.
More wardens had been employed to monitor parking, he said.
They had also staggered their lunch breaks to ensure more staff were available during the late morning, lunch period and early afternoon when more people tried to avoid paying or were late back to their parks.
The teams had divided up their work, with one group dedicated especially to the sensor parks, while another team went to more outlying areas.
Even so, Mr Eathorne estimated only 8 per cent of meter cheats were actually caught.
"But six months ago, we were only getting to 3 per cent.
"There are 92 per cent still not ticketed. Sometimes there are valid reasons, but often staff see drivers pulling away when they see an officer coming."
During the last six months, the number of parking tickets being waived has settled down to about 5 per cent of the total number of tickets issued.
Acting hear of parking services Michelle Wolfsbauer said council staff were confident the infringements were sound.
Earlier this week the Wellington City Council discovered it had a problem, following the successful challenge of a parking ticket that referred to outdated legislation.
More than 100,000 parking tickets issued in the capital quoted the Transport Act 1962 as its authority.
The Palmerston North City Council quotes the 1998 Act.
Tickets Issued Ticket Waived March 5597 332 April 3000 177 May 4550 240 June 4800 266 July 8952 524