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Posts Tagged 'Highway Robbery'

Highway Robbery by the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Auckland City Council

I am not someone who thinks that parking officers are Satan’s spawn. Indeed I wrote a post a couple of years ago, Hug  a Parking Officer Today, in which I defended this misunderstood and much maligned occupation:

‘Parking officers make a significant contribution to the smooth and safe running of traffic in our towns and cities. They greatly increase our chances of finding a parking space.  They spend much of their time giving advice to and helping the general public. Most of us are completely unaware of any of this. But we’re unlikely to forget the parking ticket on our windscreen or the fine we had to pay. So the average parking officer is subjected to sarcasm, verbal abuse and often racist comments every day.’

From time to time I get a parking ticket myself. I’m not rapt about it, but I’ve probably got away with overstaying the allotted time more often than I’ve had to retrieve one of these billets doux  from underneath my wipers.

But on Sunday I had an experience which for the first time brought me into the camp of those who believe the parking officer’s principal function is to garner revenue for his or her local body, rather than to ensure ‘the sure and safe running of traffic in our towns and cities’.

We were teaching all day. Between our morning and afternoon sessions we had an hour for lunch. But the first session ran over and we ended up with only half an hour to find somewhere to get a bite to eat. Less easy than you might think on a Sunday in central Auckland. We decided to park in Shortland Street where our studios are located and where our second session would be taking place. There was plenty of parking and our little Smart Car duly took up half a parking space just opposite High Street where we were sure we could grab a coffee and a sandwich. We reckoned we had about 25 minutes to find a cafe, order, eat, pay, get back to the car and head up the street to the studio. We actually made it in about 20 minutes. There was a ticket under the wiper blades.    Read the rest of this entry »

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