Resident’s shock and dismay over “unfair” parking fine in her own street 

Resident’s shock and dismay over “unfair” parking fine in her own street 
Brendan Rees

A North Melbourne resident is contesting what she says is an unfair fine after parking in a street she believed was “excepted” for residential permit holders.

Jen, who asked for her surname not to be used, said she first thought the $180 fine from the City of Melbourne, which she found on the windscreen of her car on Wednesday, November 23, was a mistake as she often parked in Chapman St, in which she had a permit to do so.

She said she had a residential parking permit clearly visible on her dashboard when the alleged infringement occurred at 11.19am.  

Jen said the wording of the signs was “at best confusing” and misleading as it stated the street was allowed for parking permit holders for area five, with two arrows pointing in opposite directions.

Directly above the residential parking permit sign was another sign which stipulated the section of the street was a no standing zone, but it too stated “reserved parking permit holders excepted”. 

The City of Melbourne was contacted over the matter and asked whether the signs would be reviewed, however, it said if anyone believed they had incorrectly received a parking fine, they could apply for an infringement review online.

Jen said was shocked and disappointed over her fine and hoped a review of the signs would be conducted “and update the wording so it’s clearer”.

“I thought the parking inspector must have missed seeing the parking permit on my windshield,” she said. 

“To me it’s reasonable to think ‘I have a permit, so the exception applies to me’ and judging from the comments received [on social media] I’m not the only one who’s been caught by this.”

“Until this happens, they should issue warnings to permit holders in the first instance before giving them fines.”

 

Jen’s experience came after a Kensington resident expressed his fury after receiving a $189 parking fine in August at a time the council had temporarily changed its parking restrictions on Kensington Rd while conducting footpath works.

 

Caption: Kensington resident Grant Edgcumbe has been cautioned over his “unfair” parking fine. 

 

The resident, Reverend Grant Edgcumbe of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in East Melbourne, contested the fine, which the council ultimately withdrew but gave him a “caution” instead of a penalty.

Rev Edgcumbe said being given a caution felt like “threatening language and … and it was not clear how long the probation lasts,” which he found “extraordinary” and “odd language to use”.

“I take it to mean if I get another ticket there will be no consideration given at all,” he said.

“It seems to me once a parking officer has issued a ticket, it’s like someone writing the Bible: you cannot question it.”

“Even if it’s patently wrong, it’s now suddenly sacred law and you can’t touch it. Well, that seems to be an odd way to be really.”

 

“Every human being makes mistakes including parking officers and to hold them up as being beyond question, I think is rather dangerous frankly.”

 

Rev Edgcumbe said his neighbour was also caught out in the temporary parking changes and they too were fighting their fine.

He said his main gripe was that there was no notification given about the parking changes (which lasted about three days) and when residents do report cars illegally parked without permits, “no one is ever available”.

Kensington Association chair Simon Harvey has previously said that parking and speeding fines along Kensington Rd appeared to be “blatant revenue raising”. •

 

Caption: A North Melbourne resident is fighting a parking fine over confusing signage in Chapman St. 

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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