COUNCIL has defended its decision to slug a Wagga student with a $173 fine for parking on his wide naturestrip, saying its actions were necessary due to safety reasons.
Bryan Reberger has lashed out at Wagga City Council for slapping the fine on his car windscreen, saying the guidelines of the fine didn’t fit with his “offence”.
“The fine says it is for a car ‘parked or stopped on a path or a median strip in a built up area (in school zones)',” Mr Reberger said.
Mr Reberger, who parked on the metres wide naturestrip did not believe he was breaking the law stated in the fine.
“Honestly, I would like to see the fine withdrawn, I’ve been parking there for months...the street is contantly congested,” Mr Reberger said, criticising council’s lack of consistency when dishing out fines.
“Some of the restrictions are hard to find on the website, I could not find anything about this.
“My car definitely was not obstructing anything at all,” Mr Reberger said.
A council spokesman said school zones were regularly patrolled by rangers for safety reasons.
“This is to ensure parents dropping children off comply with the law and this reduces the likelihood of an accident or an injury to a child.
He said the fine fit the offence because Mr Reberger’s vehicle obstructed kerbside views.
“In this case the vehicle was parked parallel to the kerb on the road reserve (nature strip) within the signposted school zone.
“This reduces the sight distance drivers have if children are obscured by the parked vehicle which can lead to a child or another pedestrian being injured, or an accident.”
Parking fines are a big money maker for council.
Last financial year council slugged motorists with more than $1 million in fines - five times the total revenue collected by Dubbo City Council and well above Albury, Orange and Tamworth.
In July 837 infringements were issued – 322 of those fines were issued in school zones, netting a whopping $95,626.
In October council’s manager of regulatory service, Greg Mineham, said parking enforcement was highly visible.
"We still strive to be very clear and proactive in our operations,” he said.