31 December 2017

Christmas Eve parking ticket surprise for Canberrans

| Lachlan Roberts
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Parking inspectors' field day at Woden. Photo: Charlotte Harper

Merry parking! Police decided to cut last-minute shoppers some slack this Christmas Eve. File photo: Charlotte Harper.

Imagine this: It is Christmas Eve, and you are rushing back to your car after a busy day shopping. You know you have overstayed on your paid parking, but you pray that you haven’t received one of those nasty yellow infringement envelopes. As you approach your vehicle, you notice that dreaded envelope on your windscreen. What a bad way to start the holidays!

Well for 200 people in the ACT, that was the case this Christmas Eve. But in the “spirit of goodwill and to encourage safe and fair parking in the ACT in 2018” those people received this notice instead:

Access Canberra Acting Chief Operating Officer, Craig Simmons, said in previous years individual parking inspectors had taken a lenient approach to over-staying parking but this year the approach had been more coordinated.

He hoped that those Canberrans who received some festive season reprieve would make a resolution to park safely and fairly in 2018.

“Parking management occurs across our city to ensure we support safe and vibrant town and city centres for all Canberrans,” said Mr Simmons.

“While most people understand the impact of parking dangerously, not all people understand that overstaying on parking can also have an impact. By overstaying your time, not only are you inconveniencing other motorists who may be looking for a parking spot, but it also impacts businesses by reducing access for potential customers who may have sought to visit.”

However, motorists who were found undertaking dangerous parking practices, such as stopping on pedestrian crossings, in no stopping zones, or parking on footpaths or loading zones, still received infringements.

Mr Simmons said that parking will remain a focus for Access Canberra in 2018 with license plate recognition (LPR) technology, which is also known as electronic chalking, now in place.

LPR is a vehicle-mounted camera system which allows parking officers to capture and record images of parked vehicles to determine if they have overstayed the maximum time limits or if they are unlawfully and/or dangerously parked.

Were you a recipient of one of those yellow tickets this Christmas Eve? If so, let us know your reaction to the surprise in the comments section below.

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