This week we have seen a number of articles about people deliberately abusing parking systems, the most prominent being one about Sydney Hotelier Fraser Short, owner of the Keystone Hospitality group of hotels, who was found guilty in court this week of possessing a stolen parking permit last year. Mr. Short purchased the permit from an employee for $600, claiming was unaware it was stolen. The permit had been reported missing in April last year.
In a more widespread problem, Newcastle City Council is cracking down on the fraudulent use of disabled parking permits, with concerns that some drivers are misusing permits and reducing access to disabled spaces. With Hamilton r concerns that disabled parking stickers are being used improperly, the Council’s enforcement program involves surveillance of key parking areas and interviews with drivers; those found to be misusing parking permits are liable to receive fines of up to $516.
Last week, the Parkes Shire Council in NSW was considering reinstating the ‘Brown Bomber’ position to act as a parking office and covering other duties as well. The suggestion came as concern grows over the number of business owners who fail to adhere to the parking regulations in the main CBD.
Parking is a privilege, not a right, and like car registration, it needs to be based on the concept of “user pays”. Fraudulent use of permits represents an abuse of the system, creating a bigger problem for others which in turn, no doubt about it, leads others to try and abuse the system too. PCI’s crystal ball wishfully predicts the introduction of an automated system for parking permits within five years, allowing rangers to scan the permit and verify it on a centrally located database. This would make enforcement easier, the ability to abuse the system much harder, and improve the parking experience for all!