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Disputing an Infringement in the Magistrates Court & Disabled Parking in the ACT

By Malteser - 23 March 2012 51

I’m considering going to the Magistrates Court to dispute a parking infringement issued to me. Now before you all blast me and tell me to pay up, don’t waste taxpayers money, don’t be a tightarse etc I want you to know I’m not doing an “Dr Enfield’ or anything needless like that (I pay any other fines etc). However, there are very important principals and issues associated with this fine that are making me want to fight ‘The Man’.

I believe I provided sufficient evidence to the Delegate of the Road Transport Authority to dispute the fine, however a withdrawl of the infringement was not granted (twice).  Ok, so there may not be an option for the Delegate to withdraw my claim under the Road Transport Act 1999. I don’t know.  I do know I want to take this further, I am just worried about costs (not $loaded$ unfortunately).

This is where you come in dear readers, have others out there not been granted the withdrawal of a certain traffic fine and successfully disputed the case in court? Or perhaps you thought you had a strong case, went to court and were ordered to pay the fine and the additional costs. I’d actually like to hear from those people and if it is worth going to court or in hindsight would you have just paid up?

Also, what do you think about disabled parking in the ACT town centres? Do you think there are sufficient disabled parking spots that are easily accessible for those in wheelchairs? Do you think some spaces should be restricted in terms of time limits to free up availability throughout the day? Do you think there needs to be more signage to direct drivers to other disabled spots that may not be in the immediate vacinity? There have been a number of ACT Government reports on this subject, I’d just like to hear from readers especially those that use disabled parking either for themselves or for disabled family membres, friends etc

What’s Your opinion?


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51 Responses to
Disputing an Infringement in the Magistrates Court & Disabled Parking in the ACT
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Velveteen Rabbit 10:19 pm 19 Apr 12

There’s a crazy woman who works in my building who parks all day in one of the disabled spots outside using her wheelchair-bound mother’s permit. Her mother, of course, does not come to work with her. There’s a huge shortage of parking in that area, granted, but if we have to scrounge around and park 15 minutes away, so should she. I have, however, parked in a parents-with-prams spot when there were no other spots, which is probably just as bad?

Antz409 6:56 pm 19 Apr 12

In October 2009 I believed I had a good case for withdrawal being forced to park in a loading zone in Phillip due to what was, at the time, a total absence of any parking space anywhere in Woden despite arriving in the area an hour ahead of schedule. The Delegate (who incidentally, declined to give his surname beyond its first initial in the review letter) advised me that there was ‘currently nothing in the guidelines’ that allowed him to withdraw the Infringement Notice as issued. A couple of weeks and $97 later I just paid the damn thing, but it was worth a try. The review letter also advised me of the need to get a Loading Zone permit from the Motor Vehicle Registry in Dickson and that under no circumstances could a vehicle without such a permit park in a loading zone, legal parking spots or no legal parking spots available an hour early. I’m not a lawyer so I would recommend getting independent legal advice before proceeding with any Magistrates Court claim.

carnardly 12:50 pm 28 Mar 12

There is a lot of short stay parking around woden. A 15 min walk? I could walk from the Curtin shops to most Woden Health Centres in the vicinity of Corinna street within 15 mins. It would take you 6-7 mins max to get from the green carpark near the police station, or the one up Dick Smith, or over near the swimming pool or football park.

If you’re lucky to get a parking spot then great, but i also factor in another 15 mins to get from a carpark to wherever. Did you ask for an 8 am appointment to get the first dibs on getting somewhere early? I always negotiate that where i can.

If you want the problem changed – ie more parking spaces available – then lobby for it. Hell, you might be the first complaint or the 100th on the issue. you still chose to park where you did. Couldn’t you have parked under Big W for 2 hours free and pushed your dad to the appointment? That’s approx 200 metres.

Malteser 12:27 pm 28 Mar 12

keepitup said :

Sandman said :

. . . then surely they can drop you out the front of where you need to go and then scoot round the corner to park the car and walk back to meet you.

I’m a support worker and if I dropped some of my clients off and ‘scooted round the corner’ they’d be gone. Vamoosed. Call the cops.

‘Scooting off round the corner’ doesn’t work for everyone. Able bodied or people who are not disabled maybe, but Sandman obviously hasn’t been in a situation like us.

I did drop my dad off, and that in itself took me 15-20 minutes which is the reason I got the fine in the first place. I obviously still would have got it if I parked in the Taxi rank out the front of the health centre as it doesn’t take everyone two minutes to drop of family/friends etc. Also, the rank had taxis in it, so no go (plus the abuse taxi drivers give you for parking in their rank is pretty bad).

The problem is, there is NO parking in Woden to scoot off too. Imagine leaving someone disabled waiting for half an hour until you are able to find a park, and then you have to walk back to get them, another 15 minutes. I can definitely imagine some people wandering off! Not to mention missing their appointments etc because you have to battle to find a park.Then you are faced with the exact same problem when the appointment is over as you have to find a park close by to get them back in the car….

keepitup 6:04 pm 27 Mar 12

Sandman said :

. . . then surely they can drop you out the front of where you need to go and then scoot round the corner to park the car and walk back to meet you.

I’m a support worker and if I dropped some of my clients off and ‘scooted round the corner’ they’d be gone. Vamoosed. Call the cops.

MsCheeky 5:17 pm 27 Mar 12

I used to work with a bloke who used to drop his wife, who could walk but was disabled and therefore had the sticker, at work in Woden, then drive into Civic and park in one of the premium disabled spaces in Garema Place. The fat b@stard used to argue that he needed the car close by in case he had to rush out to Woden to get his wife. Yes, Alan, you.

I also had a mate who had one leg amputated, spent part of his time on crutches and part of his time with an ill-fitting Medicare leg, and he never used to use disabled spots, because he reckoned there were people who needed them more than him.

I know which bloke I liked better. My one legged mate, when he saw someone being a dickhead, used to say, ‘Makes you glad to be yourself.’. Indeed.

As for you Malteser, I can see your problem, and going to Court would be a lottery, dependent on the mood of the Magistrate. Might be better to get a straw and suck it up.

s-s-a 3:56 pm 27 Mar 12

Community nurses are IME one of the most self-entitled groups in Canberra, and by the looks of it most of them could do with some more exercise. They obviously do that kind of work because they have a great deal of empathy with people such as those in your father’s condition… as long as it doesn’t extend to having to *gasp* walk further than 10 steps from their car to the office.

If it’s not going to cost you anything more than time and energy to go to court, then yes I would dispute it. Ideally your father would also be in attendance in court. Good luck!

pink little birdie 3:55 pm 26 Mar 12

Sandman said :

Disabled parking should be for sole use by persons with wheelchairs and that’s it. Make all disabled bays extra wide and any car spotted in those bays without hand controls or some kind of wheelchair loading device gets ticketed. Everyone else can park normally. If you’re too ill or sick to walk 100 metres then I don’t see how you have the physical abilities to be in control of a motor vehicle and if you’re ill or sick and being driven by someone else then surely they can drop you out the front of where you need to go and then scoot round the corner to park the car and walk back to meet you.

Most people with a disability don’t consider themselves ill or sick. I have a disease that flares occasionally but even when it does I don’t consider myself ill or sick. I’m guessing amputees don’t consider themselves ill or sick either.

I’d support the two tiered disability stickers with wide bays for those who need it and regular sized but close bays for those who need the closer bays.

carnardly 3:26 pm 26 Mar 12

I have an elderly quite frail relo that I take places. No way would I have parked in that spot. If i had to – i’d drop them, dash in and then go and find somewhere to park and come back.

Sorry – its a no from me too. You were not entitled to park there – its as simple as that. however many other disabled spots are available. or not available.

buzz819 3:25 pm 26 Mar 12

DUB said :

DUB said :

Malteser said :

I parked in a community nurse carpark for 15 minutes while I got my disabled father into a health centre adjacent to the nurse carpark. There were no other carparks so thought this would be somewhat sufficient while I was getting him in there. He needs a wheelchair and oxygen. We have a badge, it was displayed. When I came out to move the car I had a fine. Woden parking is shocking. Especially around those community centre areas.
I’ve provided more information a few comments back. Can anyone offer their opinion if I should go to court or not?

Thank you, you have answered your own question.You should go to court, as parking in any special permit zone (police vehicles only, ambulance only, doctors only, community nurse) – is an offence, disability permit will not help.
Sorry to hear about your problem, but stated above is the reason as to why your requests to withdraw the fine were rejected. Save the costs of court- just pay the fine.

Sorry, was meant to say that you shoul NOT go to court.

Nah, I would go to court, you admit the offence, but have extenuating circumstances that a magistrate may and I say MAY look kindly on. If in fact you can prove that is what happened.

But if you can’t then you get your fine, imposed by the court, and court fees of over a hundred dollars added on to it. That’s what you are facing.

DUB 2:54 pm 26 Mar 12

DUB said :

Malteser said :

I parked in a community nurse carpark for 15 minutes while I got my disabled father into a health centre adjacent to the nurse carpark. There were no other carparks so thought this would be somewhat sufficient while I was getting him in there. He needs a wheelchair and oxygen. We have a badge, it was displayed. When I came out to move the car I had a fine. Woden parking is shocking. Especially around those community centre areas.
I’ve provided more information a few comments back. Can anyone offer their opinion if I should go to court or not?

Thank you, you have answered your own question.You should go to court, as parking in any special permit zone (police vehicles only, ambulance only, doctors only, community nurse) – is an offence, disability permit will not help.
Sorry to hear about your problem, but stated above is the reason as to why your requests to withdraw the fine were rejected. Save the costs of court- just pay the fine.

Sorry, was meant to say that you shoul NOT go to court.

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