Motorist says justice wasn't metered out

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 04/01/2014
tdn et stand
Dominika Zielinska
Chas Kalin with the $15 ticket he says was a mistake.

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A New Plymouth labourer was spitting tacks after getting a $15 ticket for overstaying in a two-hour parking spot he'd barely arrived at.

Chas Kalin, of Okato, said he parked outside Sporty's Cafe Bar in Fitzroy at 11am yesterday for "an orange juice and to see the locals" after a morning of running errands around town.

Thirty minutes later he left the bar and found a parking ticket on his windshield. "It's the first parking ticket I had in years," Mr Kalin said.

"I initially thought it was advertising or something."

Details on the ticket recorded Mr Kalin as having parked at the spot from 8.54am to 11.27am.

However, Mr Kalin was nowhere near the spot between those hours and had receipts to prove he was at the New Zealand Post Shop on Currie St at 10.07am, SuperCheap Auto on Leach St at 10.35am and at Caltex on Eliot St for some gas and a car wash at 10.41am.

He said he then called in on his mum for 10 minutes before swinging by Sporty's.

New Plymouth District Council customer and regulatory manager Mary-Anne Priest said the parking sensors were programmed to pick up on the arrivals and departures of each parked car.

"What may have happened was that there had been a car parked before him and he went in straight after," Ms Priest said.

However Mr Kalin said it was quite empty when he arrived at Sackville St.

"I came around the corner, and there were no cars at all," he said. "I saw it and just went straight for it."

Ms Priest said the error happened on the "odd occasion" and there was a communication time delay of 10 to 15 seconds.

The council is able to check Mr Kalin's parking history on its software system and if a mistake had been made, his ticket would be cancelled.

Last month, the council did a U-turn after telling motorists genuine errors were no longer a satisfactory excuse for getting parking tickets.

Mary Dobson and Carol Sutton, who had keyed wrong digits into the meters, had their fines cancelled after publicity in the Daily News.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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