PERTH’s stern grey ghosts have been told to go a bit easier on people running overtime on their parking tickets and spend less time targeting quiet residential streets.
In March councillor Brent Fleeton got up a motion calling for the council’s parking fine practices to be overhauled, stating “councillors heard loud and clear during the 2020 election campaign that improvements must be made in different areas of parking. Fines, fees, timed bays, residential areas versus commercial, how our parking inspectors interact with our customers – all of it needed reviewing.”
The Voice even heard of residents in the newly annexed Crawley being fined for parking in their own driveways, a normal practice in the burbs but banned by Perth city council.
This week council got a report on how the new rules are working out, including:
• A consistent 10-minute grace period for all time restricted parking bays, rather than the discretionary bang on the dot ticket. The kid-gloves come off for clearway cloggers though: Cars in a clearway in peak periods still get an immediate fine of $200 if a parking officer shows up before Main Roads tows the car (which costs another $368). Clearway parkers currently rack up about 20 infringements a day;
• Parking inspectors now focus their routine patrols on the packed out commercial areas, and typically only head out to residential zones like Crawley if someone lodges a complaint about a parking problem. The new system’s seen residential-area fines drop from 80 a day to 40.
• Within those beats the inspectors will hit up high risk and high traffic areas first, before getting to the quieter bays. They’ll first check bays at day care centres, bus zones, loading zones, emergency services, entertainment and business precincts, thoroughfares and clearways.
The council has 21 full time “parking information officers” and eight part timers, issuing about 300 fines a day. Parking squad numbers are down from 36 full time inspectors from December 2020.
Fines range from $61 for overstaying your time to $505 for forging a ticket or parking permit, and make up the the bulk of the near $10 million per year the council collects from various infringement categories.
by DAVID BELL