Kill the spy car

January 18th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Tim Donoghue reports at the Dom Post:

Public ill-will towards ’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 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 :-)

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32 Responses to “Kill the spy car”

  1. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Oh my GOD!!! Who the Hell cares?!

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  2. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Whose idea was this spy car? Names please.

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  3. workingman (84 comments) says:

    I hate this car with a vengeance, and the drivers – well at least one – who lie.

    I was in Church St (Dead end off Boulcott St) and wanted to turn left into the car park, another car coming the other way indicated to turn right into it, so of course I stop to let them go, then the car stopped indicating and carried straight on. The car was evidently the ‘spy’ car, and I received a ticket for being stopped on yellow lines. In the photo I requested it can be seen I am angled to turn in, but the when I appealed against it the driver presented a statement that I had been stopped there for a minute. F**king liar

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  4. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    >>”She had pulled over to allow the spy car to pass her in a narrow street.”

    Yeah right.

    >>”elderly Karori resident Donald Massam stopped briefly on yellow lines to drop off Judith”

    Which part of ‘no stopping’ didn’t he understand?

    Be interesting to see if the revenue stream from the spy car is diminishing in any way over time. If so, it is working as it should to uphold the law. If not, then it would appear to simply be a revenue gatherer.

    But even if it is a revenue gatherer, so what? Don’t break the law, and you don’t have to pay.

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  5. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    I wonder if the contract pays a bonus for every ticket issued

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  6. gump (1,553 comments) says:

    People are just indignant that they’re being caught flouting the law.

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  7. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    David..

    Did you hire “Chrissie the Wussie” to make idiotic comments to provoke discussion?

    If Prendergast and her husband (Rex Nicholls), had not been so arrogant (Prendergast did NOT promote her mayoralty bid at all) Wellingtonians would not now be lumbered with a Chrissie like Mayor.

    Malfeasance suit coming soon?

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  8. MarkWylie (10 comments) says:

    My feeling is that people would not mind such “tools” to be used by the Council if only it were for traffic control and real safety (which would like make people feel it was a police job), rather than what it appears to be, which is mostly revenue gathering.

    For example, I have seen the contractor standing by the end of Manners (now Bus only), with a camera taking photos and waving his finger (sometimes) at people who use the Bus Only lane. This I think is good, as it is really the only way people will learn (there will be many who will think it’s OK if they get away with it), and no doubt earns enough for the guy’s keep.

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  9. scanner (340 comments) says:

    This was always going to be the case when you lot voted for a luddite mayor, I bet it never gets a photo of some idiot riding a bicycle on the footpath.

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  10. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    In the photo I requested it can be seen I am angled to turn in, but the when I appealed against it the driver presented a statement that I had been stopped there for a minute.

    Well of course you could have been stopped there for a minute, most of us call it “giving way”.

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  11. tas (596 comments) says:

    I have no idea what you are talking about. Perhaps you should explain what this “spy car” is for those not living in Wellington.

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  12. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Scott Chris….you are a real turd of a person.

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  13. Mike Readman (361 comments) says:

    You should move to Chch DPF. You’d have fun then!

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  14. Rick Rowling (823 comments) says:

    Well done, Scott Chris and Gunp, you are indeed holier than thou.

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  15. shoreboy57 (137 comments) says:

    Well done, Scott Chris and Gunp, you are indeed holier than thou.

    Not holier than thou Rick. If you break the law don’t bleat. It”s not anyone’s right to stop, park just where they want, even momentarily

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  16. Chuck Bird (4,771 comments) says:

    There is no discretion for people who stop for 20 seconds on a dotted yellow line but plenty for a kiddy fiddler if he makes people laugh.

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  17. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Once again – Who gives a flying rat’s arse about any of this?

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  18. peterwn (3,213 comments) says:

    “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.”

    The Council prosecutor will look at the file just before the hearing, realise that this turkey is not going to fly, and withdraw the case at the last minute. Hope that Simon Power’s new court legislation will enable judges to hit prosecutors hard where this happens.

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  19. RightNow (6,842 comments) says:

    Since we’re having a bleat about people breaking the rules, I’d like to highlight this from the road code:

    Slow drivers

    If you are travelling slower than the speed limit and there are vehicles following you, you must:

    keep as close to the left side of the road as possible
    pull over as soon as it is safe to let following vehicles pass.
    Don’t speed up on straight stretches of road to prevent following vehicles from passing you.

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/about-limits/speed-limits.html

    Hope that clears up any confusion – travel at the speed limit, or let people pass.

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  20. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Platinum medal for someone who is, appears, sounds, looks, seems, more sanctimonious than Scott Chris, the Labour troll.

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  21. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    Heh, get used to it people. Surveillance is only going to get more sophisticated.

    In a few years time, the cops computers’ll know if you’ve been a bad boy by simply correlating GPS data.

    So no one will get away with bending the rules.

    Result? No one will bend the rules. Then traffic management will be more efficient and a hell of a lot cheaper.

    Let’s face it. We only bend the rules if we think we can get away with it eh?

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  22. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    Have some of you lot never driven around Wellington streets before? In many places two cars cannot get past each other unless one drives up onto the foot path. I totally believe that the woman quoted in DPFs article was just pulling over.

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  23. RightNow (6,842 comments) says:

    Brian – not only was she pulling over – the spy car was going downhill (entering Sydney St West from Bowen St) and should have pulled over to give way to her. She pulled over out of courtesy and got penalised. Additionally in stopping to photograph her the spy car was illegally stopped. I’m tempted to attend the court hearing on Feb 3rd to identify the issuer of the infringement notice (they have to attend court to present evidence). I believe they’ll incriminate themselves with their testimony.

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  24. Francis_X (149 comments) says:

    Celia’s spy car = bad.

    Kerry’s spy car = good.

    Just reminding everyone about the rules.

    Happy to help. :-)

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  25. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    By comparison to Auckland, Wgtn is obsessed, obsessed, obsessed with issuing parking fines. The car is merely the latest in a line. If most Wellingtonians had a basis for comparison I suspect the Dom Post letters to the editor would have been full of nothing but this issue for the last five years, that’s how bad it is compared to other cities.

    Re: the car, I had occasion to take lots of taxi rides last year. Every single driver told me (because I asked them) that they themselves have received a ticket while stopping to let passengers out. Every single one told me they had written to the council and they had been turned down.

    This is ridiculous.

    It’s not just the camera car, it’s the whole attitude that WCC has to parking in the city. That’s the problem.

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  26. Steve (4,522 comments) says:

    How do you know if a Spy Car is behind you and when di you let the Spy Car pass?
    Does this Spy Car have a siren or flashing red lights? flashing blue and red lights? amber roofrack lights?
    Let us see some photos of this ‘Spy Car’ Also some photos of the moaning pricks who think stopping where restricted is ok for them but not others.
    This ‘Spy Car’ Is it driven by an ex Schoolteacher that is a control freak? I mean someone must have a lovely job driving around taking photos and making themselves accountable. All bullshit until we see photos.
    Ms Broomwade may explain

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  27. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Also some photos of the moaning pricks who think stopping where restricted is ok for them but not others.

    It’s a taxi Steve. A taxi. Don’t you get that.

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  28. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    I used to be a “follow the rules and you’ll be fine” sort when it came to parking, having been locked into a work carpark because people decided that it was after hours so to heck with the rules.

    Then I got a ticket because some prick decided that it was the strictest letter of the law, and not it’s blasingly obvious spirit that should be enforced.

    I even wrote the them to point that out. They wrote back and told me I was wrong.

    Frankly I wonder if they even want to be seen as working for the public.

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  29. marynicolehicks (24 comments) says:

    Seems a brilliant idea… Bring the car to Christchurch. As a cyclist I hate cars stopping on yellow lines, even if it is just for a moment. Drivers have to remember that they share the road.

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  30. Salacious Crumb (31 comments) says:

    Yeah but this is the same WCC that issues tickets to Ambulances that have double parked to atttend people who have collapsed. A relative of mine used to be a head of one of the security companies in Wellington and had numerous, and by all accounts, frustrating, meetings with WCC over their armoured cars being ticketed when they were doing cash pick ups from the major banks. WCC were unrepetent.

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  31. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Probably just nitpicking here, but do security vans really have to park illegally while picking up cash?

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  32. theresag (3 comments) says:

    This is what the Spy Car has done to me:
    I avoid the CBD of Wellington altogether for business.
    I drive with a trailer and it is too hard to get a park.
    I have had only one Spy car ticket but it was for a really petty matter.They must have been scratching the barrel that day.
    However every time I went to town I was paranoid that normal driving and doing what you have to do on some of Wellingtons narrow streets will create a punishable offence.Not worth it!Missing it all together was my decision in the end.
    My advice to people who find themselves on a narrow street and feel tempted to be considerate by pulling over onto yellow lines …. DON’T.See what happens.Road block probably.I wonder what the spy car will do about that now?
    Wellington is becoming Suckville real fast.

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