Reminder about streetside parking

It is not waving the big stick, but the Timaru District Council wants you to know the no-nos about suburban roadside parking, and what breaches could cost you.

A complaint about an infringement in Douglas St several weeks ago led to the council highlighting the Land Transport Act in Saturday's Herald. While the council isn't in the habit of sending parking officers into the suburbs, if it receives a complaint, it will investigate.

So here are the rules in a nutshell: Parking on the grass verge is a no-no, and parking a trailer, caravan, boat or broken-down vehicle on the roadside for more than seven days could cost $40-$440.

Often complaints about parking come from another resident who reckons your trailer/boat/caravan is making the street look untidy, says council regulatory services manager Chris English.

If there is a complaint, then staff check the whole street.

Because staff don't normally patrol suburban streets, and in an effort to educate rather than prosecute, staff either knock on the door and advise of infringements or leave a note. If the vehicle has not been moved when they return seven days later, a fine is issued.

In simple terms, if a vehicle cannot move under its own power, it must not be parked on the street in the same place for more than seven days. The fine is $40, but if the vehicle is neither warranted nor registered, the owner can incur fines totalling $440.

"There is a push to educate people. We do not want to run around with a big stick and be punitive," Mr English said, pointing out that if a person got the necessary warrant or registration soon after the ticket was issued, there was a chance the fine would be cancelled.


"The last thing we want to do is alienate people with large fines."

Parking on the grass berm is illegal as it could block access to emergency vehicles and damage services beneath the grass, Mr English said.

As for those who park two wheels on the grass, believing that is safer, his advice is to contact the council first as it could be a roading issue.

If at the end of the day the vehicle owner does receive a fine, Mr English says: Write to the council and explain your position. That way staff can take another look at the matter.

The Timaru Herald