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Clamp down on unpaid parking fines in 2005

Parking wardens keen to clamp down on unpaid parking fines in 2005

New Zealand parking wardens want to help government officials clamp down on unpaid parking fine in 2005. The New Zealand Parking Association (NZPA) is working with the Ministry of Justice on initiatives to help recover many millions of dollars in outstanding fines, a significant portion of which relates to parking fines.

NZPA chairman Colin Waite said the vast majority of people pay their parking fines and it was unfair for people who deliberately avoided paying to get away with doing so.

``To assist with recovering fines, we are also providing car registration details to the ministry and helping to locate offenders’ vehicles.

``In turn the ministry may consider clamping or seizing these vehicles as a means of encouraging their owners’ to pay their fines.’’

Christchurch City Council parking wardens received high praise from schools during the year for their role as enforcers of the `Chaos at the School Gate’ pilots.

The pilot projects were set up at schools to encourage “perfect parkers” outside the school gates. The pilots were run by the city council in partnership with schools to encourage parents to park correctly, rather than illegally, causing traffic chaos and putting other children at risk. A new road user rule comes into effect on February 27 which will affect all motorists.

Waite said the new rule will help improve road safety especially relating to pedestrians and cyclists.

From the point of view of parking the main change is that time restricted parking areas identified by blue parking signs will operate seven days a week.

This will improve public access to prime parking spots that at present are more often than not taken by workers on weekends.

Car-parking rates as one of the great curses of the 21st century. Waite said the problem was not confined to big cities and it regularly rears its head in smaller towns, with local councils debating over inconsiderate drivers parking illegally for hours in restricted areas.

Many larger city councils are actively pursuing initiatives to reduce car use, and thus traffic and parking congestion.

To this end they are promoting increased use of public transport and have established more clearways and bus lanes as one of the means of encouraging greater use of public transport Clearways operate only at peak traffic times and are designed to free up a portion of roads to allow bus traffic to flow freely and stick to timetables.

Parking in clearways at peak times causes traffic congestion, inconveniences bus passengers, and can also cause and safety problems.

``Unfortunately some people still park on clearways, causing delays and frustration to bus passengers. To deter people from parking in these areas some councils have begun towing away illegally parked vehicles from clearways.’’

Parking wardens would do their best in 2005 to be fair to the general public.

``We just want to help people seeking parking spots and hope that fewer people will continue to park illegally. We hope those that do will pay their fines this coming year,’’ Waite said

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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