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

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


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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

DUB DUB 2:51 pm 26 Mar 12

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.

Malteser Malteser 2:35 pm 26 Mar 12

I’ve provided more information a few comments back. Can anyone offer their opinion if I should go to court or not?

Snapperjack, maybe you can eat your words too

ahappychappy ahappychappy 7:57 pm 25 Mar 12

HenryBG said :

ThatUniStudent said :

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.

It is attitudes like this that are one of the reasons why disabled people are considered to be amount the most discriminated against people in the world. 🙁

I agree 100% with Sandman.
Some mobility disability is so severe that specially wide and convenient car parks are required.
Other disabilities just don’t warrant that sort of treatment.
So you have a walking stick, or asthma, or – most frequently – an elderly relative who’s lent you her pass? You *could* park same as everybody else, but no, you nab the easy park and when somebody *really* disabled needs it, it isn’t there because of your selfishness.

Are both of you full quid?

I agree the passes get abused by people who use their relative’s passes, and I agree that some require the spots more, however basing it purely on whether someone has a wheelchair or not is ridiculous. Take this into consideration:

My father has a permit, he’s battled cancer for five years and in the past 12 months had three seperate operations removing a large amount of his internal organs. Luckily, he’s a battler and come through it relatively okay, at least enough to be able to conduct himself like he would’ve before these horrible things occured. He looks skinny and frail (like nearly all cancer sufferers) but can drive, walk (for all be it short amounts of time and then he’s got to rest) and was back at work part-time until his last issue.

In the case of shopping centres, the closer he can get the easier and safer it is for him – he literally takes hours to recover from going to the shops for some bread. To argue he’s not in a wheelchair and therefore doesn’t need the permit is ridiculous – if there was a spot someone in a wheelchair could easily disembark from their vehicle further away it wouldn’t affect them as much as him.

Shit, he feels bad about using the permit as is – he feels he’s fine enough to do it because he’s stubborn and feels there are others which need it more – he even parks in short stay parks and moves his car when his time is up like a normal person to his own detriment. I’ll happily swap around and let you deal with all that’s gone on for the sake of a permit, and if someone in the family could look after him all day driving him about we definitely would.

Everyone in this world knows someone who’s been struck with illness or a disability, whether permanent or just a blip on the radar, and whilst people abuse the system there are arsehats everywhere in all shapes or forms – just look around one day! If a doctor has decided someone needs a permit, that’s fair enough by me – you can’t always judge a book by looking at it’s cover, my old man you probably would think is a relative abusing a permit!

I-filed I-filed 7:09 pm 25 Mar 12

bigfeet said :

HenryBG said :

I agree 100% .

But luckily your opinion doesn’t count. This is an issue related to the law.

You gave up any right to have an opinion on the law, or any legal matter, when you told us all that you were too rich to participate in the legal system or to fulfill your responsibilities as part of society.

Specially as he is a self-confessed drunk driver.

bigfeet bigfeet 5:18 pm 25 Mar 12

HenryBG said :

I agree 100% .

But luckily your opinion doesn’t count. This is an issue related to the law.

You gave up any right to have an opinion on the law, or any legal matter, when you told us all that you were too rich to participate in the legal system or to fulfill your responsibilities as part of society.

HenryBG HenryBG 2:48 pm 25 Mar 12

ThatUniStudent said :

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.

It is attitudes like this that are one of the reasons why disabled people are considered to be amount the most discriminated against people in the world. 🙁

I agree 100% with Sandman.
Some mobility disability is so severe that specially wide and convenient car parks are required.
Other disabilities just don’t warrant that sort of treatment.
So you have a walking stick, or asthma, or – most frequently – an elderly relative who’s lent you her pass? You *could* park same as everybody else, but no, you nab the easy park and when somebody *really* disabled needs it, it isn’t there because of your selfishness.

ThatUniStudent ThatUniStudent 11:23 am 25 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.

It is attitudes like this that are one of the reasons why disabled people are considered to be amount the most discriminated against people in the world. 🙁

Malteser Malteser 10:32 am 25 Mar 12

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.

gumby34 gumby34 9:28 am 25 Mar 12

This is a difficult one. I have a pass and somedays you would be given to think that one the surface that I am fine. Appearing disabled doesn’t make you disabled. Here are some of the reasons that you can be issued with a mobility access pass

Severe asthma
heart conditions
Cancer
MS

Personally, I will give my pass up to anyone that wants it if you take my degenerative muscle disease, and walking stick. If not, then my opinion is be slow to judge what is not always apparent on the surface. It is a very small comfort to the life that I lead. I park in 2 hr car parks for the day. This is because I am not, yet, in a wheel chair and I think that I can walk the extra 20 m and leave the disabled parking for those who need wide car park spaces.

Also, I would be very much in favour of a queensland type system that allocates a specific category of parking for wheelchairs and alternative ones for those of us who can walk just not for very long.

If you are disabled and found yourself parking in a loading zone or something then it is worth fighting but if you parked in a mobility spot and shouldn’t then shame on you.

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