City of Vincent writes off more than $250k in unpaid parking fines

Stock image.
Stock image.

PARKING infringements worth more than $250,000 were recently written off by the City of Vincent, sparking debate at last week’s council meeting.

Councillors resolved at its July 26 meeting to write off $253,660.89 that has been withdrawn by the Fines Enforcement Registry.

Last Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Roslyn Harley raised concerns about the volume of unpaid fines that were written off each year, mentioning 355 cases where administrative error led to fines being waived.

She said parkers issued with infringements for not displaying a ticket were “anecdotally” known to acquire tickets from friends and challenge infringements.

“I have previously suggested if rangers use technology that takes a photo that shows the ticket was not on the dashboard at the time the infringement was issued, then people will pay,” she said.

City staff advised the council that a significant number of the data entry errors for parking infringements had been made by casual rangers who had received additional training as a result.

In terms of photographing dashboards, staff advised Council that the devices rangers currently have for the task are cumbersome and antiquated, and needed to be used in addition to the ticket issuing machine and manually taking notes.

There were 776 cases of residents or visitors not displaying their permit, including residents who did not have a permit but were entitled to one, and 181 cases of “disability,” “police cars” or “financial hardship” being the mitigating factor.

Cr Harley said these were three markedly different categories and needed closer analysis.

Cr Matt Buckels backed the City’s record on parking management.

“I think we have a pretty reasonable policy in terms of the people who have grounds for appeal winning their appeals. I think people understand our system recognises honest mistakes,” he said.