Parking bandit's 28 tickets

Accrual by accident 'unlikely'

Last updated 14:07 15/01/2014
damon odey

BUSTED: Not even Mayor Damon Odey is safe from being ticketed.

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If you received a parking ticket last year you were not alone.

I myself was absent minded enough to forget to feed the metre right outside the Timaru District Council office.

But none of us were as recalcitrant as the one loose-parking-change challenged driver who received 28 infringements during 2013.

TDC regulatory services manager Chris English said this laissez-faire approach to parking was unusual. If there was a good explanation for a person having a ticket, the council would play ball and waive the fine, but only once within a given time frame, Mr English said.

It was unlikely 28 - on average one every two weeks - could be accrued by accident, he said.

In all the Timaru District Council parking wardens issued 11,838 parking infringements - on average, more than 32 a day, costing recipients a combined $312,000.

That number includes all tickets written including for parking meters, loading zones, registration and Warrants of Fitness.

In 2012 the number of tickets issued was 11,511 about 300 fewer than last year. However, in 2013, hundreds of people were granted a reprieve, with 999 tickets waived during the year.

Perhaps not so happy were the recipients of 1679 tickets which were not paid and for which court action was initiated.

Mr English said there were no particular hot spots attracting more tickets than others

Contrary to what some people think, he said the purpose of the parking unit is not to revenue gather but to keep the flow of traffic moving, making it fair for business owners and shoppers.

"For example if officers did not enforce Stafford St parking by-laws then the ... parks would be full with Stafford St business workers parking all day, leaving no parks for shoppers."

He said the three full-time parking officers (one currently on maternity leave) and one part-time officer were occasionally abused.

"However, the vast majority of the Timaru public understand they perform a necessary and at times difficult service and treat officers accordingly."

If you are a serial parking offender, we would love to hear if there is some underlying reason. Is it an objection to giving money to the council for parking, or something else we haven't thought of? Email me at the address to the top-left of this story.


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- South Canterbury


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