The Dom Post reports:
Wellington motorists have been stung with almost $10 million in parking fines in the past year, and some wardens have faced so much abuse that they have quit.
In the past two years, wardens have been sworn at, spat on, shouldered, grabbed, driven at in cars and menaced with a wheelbarrow.
While in no way condoning unpleasant behaviour towards people merely doing their job, I have to say I am not surprised, and people who choose to be wardens should be aware it will be a very unpopular occupation.
Take three sorts of law enforcement – general Police, traffic Police and parking wardens.
Now most people are very supportive and friendly towards the general Police. You generally have to have deliberately broken the law to have a bad encounter with them, and they put away the evil doers etc. Some bad cops of course, not generally the Police are popular and respected.
Then take the old traffic cops, now part of the Police. They were less popular because they fine you for driving you car in a prohibited way. You generally have made a deliberate decision to speed, so you know the risks, and know that 400 people a year die on the roads, so there is a need for traffic cops.
Finally one has parking wardens. Now the vast majority of people ticketed by wardens do not set out to break the law – they don’t say oh I think I will park in Queen Street all day and not pay for it. Normally it is people who just end up being delayed getting back to their car, or people who unable to find a legal park, risk a loading zone for 10 minutes as they rush to drop off a letter etc.
Hence it is no surprise than when people find they did get ticketed, they are pretty pissed, and wardens end up getting abused. Again not condoning it, but saying it is no surprise.
Ms Thessman said tickets were not aimed at generating revenue, but to ensure parking compliance. “It’s about giving everybody that opportunity to park and go about their business. If someone’s parked there all day, no-one else gets a chance to park. It’s about space turnover.”
Wellington’s large number of tickets was due to “non-compliance and bad parking behaviour”.
The city’s topography contributed to the problem, she said, as many motorists parked on footpaths in narrow streets to give other motorists more space or keep their own cars safe, blocking pedestrians in the process.
And that is part of what pisses people off – over zealous enforcement. In areas like Roseneath, it is a bloody good idea to park slightly on the footpath, as it helps prevents crashes. Motorists who do this tend to still leave lots of room on the pavement – they are using their judgement.
The other thing which annoys people is when you get ticketed for parking in front of your own garage!