Tim Donoghue reports at the Dom Post:
Public ill-will towards Wellington City Council’s “spy car” has led to four councillors calling for it to be abandoned.
Councillors John Morrison, Bryan Pepperell, Paul Eagle and Simon Marsh said yesterday there had been so much aggravation surrounding the vehicle that it was time for it to go.
Three other councillors – Jo Coughlan, Justin Lester and Leonie Gill – said they wanted to see the vehicle’s continued operation subjected to an extensive review by councillors.
There’s been numerous stories about the spy car in recent days, including how it snapped a photo of a motorist who pulled over to let it pass.
Mr Morrison described the spy car operation as nothing more than revenue collection. “It runs against the basic Kiwi mentality of people getting a fair go.
“This is clipboard, whistleblowing, white-coat bureaucratic stuff. This bureaucratic behaviour has brought the council into disrespect.”
Too right. Never thought I’d be on the same side of an issue as Bryan Pepperell, but I am on this one.
Former Wellington resident Ann Reeves is taking the council to court next month to contest the $60 ticket she received after being photographed by the spy car on broken yellow lines. She had pulled over to allow the spy car to pass her in a narrow street.
On December 8 last year, elderly Karori resident Donald Massam stopped briefly on yellow lines to drop off Judith, his wife of 52 years, for an urgent dental appointment on The Terrace at the bottom of Bolton St. He was sent a ticket for $60.
Mr Massam said he would be taking the council to court if his fine was not waived.
“If there was a parking warden in the area I could have explained why I had to stop. This is not a fair go. This involved an elderly person and an urgent medical matter,” he said.
It is that lack of discretion which is the issue.
Ms Wade-Brown said the safety of drivers and pedestrians was the most important issue in the suburbs and the city centre.
“The dash cam car is a useful part of enforcement. We must be vigilant that the focus is on safety and enabling legitimate use of on- street parks.
“Some drivers believe that parking on double-yellow lines is OK for a few minutes but a crash can happen in only a moment.”
Oh, what tosh. Someone should OIA how many car crashes have occurred due to someone having pulled over to let someone get out. The safety argument is a red herring.
Anyone want to stand for Mayor in 2013? Send your CVs into me