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If you roll the dice, Canberra’s parking inspectors will win

By Charlotte Harper - 16 March 2017 11

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

On a visit to the cinema at Woden recently, my fellow movie-goer suggested we park in the 15-minute section just outside Hoyts. I argued this would be foolish and asking for trouble. The driver disagreed, noting it was past 5pm and arguing that all the parking inspectors must surely be long gone. Eventually I won, given there were endless free spots in the carpark across the road.

As we exited the cinema a couple of hours later, we discovered that every single car parked along the strip we’d discussed had been issued with a ticket. Eight tickets for eight vehicles.

 

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

The moral of the story is that in Canberra in 2017, the parking inspectors have the upper hand.

It pays to pay for your parking.

The inspectors do seem to be EVERYWHERE these days.

There was a time when it was possible to wing it in the knowledge that while you might get the odd fine, this would be balanced out by the money you’d save by not feeding the machines each time you parked.

I know plenty of people who have been caught out more than once when taking such risks. I may even have been guilty of it myself once or twice.

So scared am I of parking fines and of dealing with the Infringement Review Office now that I have become a model citizen on the parking front, a woman who stores the Parkmobile app on the main screen of her phone and ensures there is always enough cash in the attached account to cover the fees.

Scenes like those above are enough to scare us all into submission.

Do you think there are more parking inspectors in the capital than in previous years? Has it made you more cautious about taking a risk when you park?

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
If you roll the dice, Canberra’s parking inspectors will win
1
msnk 4:58 pm
16 Mar 17
#

And always pay your parking fine. The risk is a criminal conviction if you don’t.

2
devils_advocate 5:11 pm
16 Mar 17
#

To quote the great George Costanza, “why should I pay for it, when if I apply myself, maybe I can get it for free?”
It’s all about risk. Parking in a 15 minute spot for 3+ hours is not a well calculated risk.
Parking all day in a 3 hour zone? less risky.
I never pay for parking when I go out after hours (I have an allocated spot at my work). There are plenty of loading zones, time-limited pay parking and other short-term parks that are unlimited at various times so I’ve never felt the need. The only potential difficulties are on Friday night but even then it’s possible if you get in around 5:30 or so.

3
Heavs 7:44 pm
16 Mar 17
#

I regularly park in a 15 minute zone outside my work for the entire day. I went 38 days without a ticket. Then I got two in a week. Still more than covered my expenses had I paid for parking.

The future of ‘no chalking’ may change my position though. But I’ll believe it when I see it.

4
bigred 6:51 am
17 Mar 17
#

To me it seems the parking inspector efforts are focussed pretty much at the town centres and Dickson. I guess this is because they are more interested in protecting revenue flow than ensuring a reasonable turnover of spaces so everyone can get a fair go, kerb ramps are not blocked, nature strips are not compacted dust bowls and taxi and bus zones do not become overflow parking.

The perfect case study of what happens when lax regulation occurs is Cooleman Court. It is a total free for all.

5
watto23 8:14 am
17 Mar 17
#

I bet these people regularly park there and have realised that they save a few hundred in parking fees for every ticket issued and thus better off. Its the same in many places around town, except for maybe the city. I know of a few places where the inspectors just book illegally park cars and don’t have time to book people who overstay a 3 hr park, thus they park in them all day.

6
dungfungus 1:52 pm
17 Mar 17
#

The ACT Government was recently advertising for parking inspectors although the actual job title was more exotic than just “parking inspector” (had the word “enforcement” in there somewhere).
Skills required were being savvy with digital cameras and being able to walk 20km daily.
They were offering about $70K a year.

7
JFE 8:44 pm
23 Mar 17
#

Nah, they aren’t so busy around Manuka in the afternoons. There are always ppl staying longer in the short time free spots or loading zones or areas where they just create their own park. Been going on a long time now and I’ve never seen a parking officer after say 1500 in the arvo. Must go to Woden then?

One complaint — the clown parking officers that ticket cars that park in the Jamison Centre spots reserved for doctors. C’mon! The docs don’t work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just money hungry.

8
ChrisinTurner 9:08 am
24 Mar 17
#

The people who risk parking all day in 2-hour zones are realising they now won’t get a fine only every 3 weeks (cheap parking) but more often.

9
tim_c 1:05 pm
24 Mar 17
#

From what I’ve observed, there appear to be a lot less parking inspectors around since about 10-15 years ago – it used to be unusual to see cars parked illegally. Now you’d struggle to find a street in Canberra without vehicles parked illegally (on nature strips or footpaths, facing the oncoming traffic, in bike lanes, etc.).

Go anywhere near a gym and you’ll realise why the people inside need to go to the gym (because they’d rather park illegally than walk another 20m from a legal space). Go past any low-medium density residential building site (as a colleague of mine remarked – they’d park right inside the house if they could) or to any major event (Skyfire or the cricket at Manuka) and people seem to think it’s their right to park wherever they want just because all the spaces in the immediate vicinity are occupied. And it seems that Civic becomes a free-for-all after hours with people parking on footpaths, bike lanes, etc. But nothing quite beats the occasions when there is a festival or some other event at an embassy representing a less-developed country.

10
dungfungus 3:45 pm
24 Mar 17
#

tim_c said :

From what I’ve observed, there appear to be a lot less parking inspectors around since about 10-15 years ago – it used to be unusual to see cars parked illegally. Now you’d struggle to find a street in Canberra without vehicles parked illegally (on nature strips or footpaths, facing the oncoming traffic, in bike lanes, etc.).

Go anywhere near a gym and you’ll realise why the people inside need to go to the gym (because they’d rather park illegally than walk another 20m from a legal space). Go past any low-medium density residential building site (as a colleague of mine remarked – they’d park right inside the house if they could) or to any major event (Skyfire or the cricket at Manuka) and people seem to think it’s their right to park wherever they want just because all the spaces in the immediate vicinity are occupied. And it seems that Civic becomes a free-for-all after hours with people parking on footpaths, bike lanes, etc. But nothing quite beats the occasions when there is a festival or some other event at an embassy representing a less-developed country.

To be fair, this is happening because the incumbent government has planned it that way.

Available parking is being depleted for residential development at the same time as more an more cars are going on the road. The government MLAs, who don’t have parking problems, want ACT Revenue to have its cake and eat it too.

So what if there is no parking available, let them catch the busses; we’ll even soon have a tram (for some)!

11
Maryann Mussared 8:41 pm
24 Mar 17
#

Not wishing to boast, but I left my car in a one-hour zone outside a ‘national institution’ for five hours yesterday as the car park was (of course) full. It was a measured decision and I won….

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