Successfully Appealed Parking Fine but Reason Given for Withdrawal Incorrect. What Should I Do?

A few weeks ago I received a $120 fine for parking in a controlled car park without displaying a valid ticket. The parking signs in the area were obscured by low-hanging tree branches and some were missing altogether, so it wasn't obvious that the area was a zone where a parking ticket was required. Given this, I took some photos of the obscured and missing signs then lodged a dispute with the local government authority.

Fast forward a few weeks and I received an email stating that the parking infringement had been withdrawn. The reason given was that I had provided them with evidence of a valid parking ticket at the time the infringement notice was issued. There was also some other information about how to ensure that parking tickets are displayed correctly to avoid fines in the future, and advice that if I received another ticket I would be liable to pay the fine irrespective of whether I was able to provide evidence of a valid ticket.

Clearly there has been some sort of administrative screw-up that has benefited me, but I've been thinking about the following:

  • Given the parking signs are obscured and missing, I still think that the local government needs to rectify the problem so that other people aren't caught out.

  • If I purchase a parking ticket in the future and am given a fine for it not being displayed correctly, I've effectively burnt my amnesty pass on this infringement. Ideally I'd like to have that amnesty pass re-instated.

  • I'd like to let the person in the infringements department know that they've screwed up so that they can rectify the problem and not get in trouble with their superiors (in much the same way as I let shop keepers know if they give me more change than they should), but I don't want this to kick off a review of my fine and force me to go an appeal or CAT process if they decide that my reasons for not buying a ticket are invalid.

Thoughts?

Poll Options

  • 55
    Do nothing.
  • 3
    Do something.

Comments

  • +22 votes

    just let it go.

    move on with your life.

    creating this post was too much

  • +1 vote

    Yep. You won end of. Just go on with what you’re doing no need to think about it to much.

    Just give them a big FU for being the winner mate!!

  •  

    Definitely don't bring up your previous situation about being withdrawn incorrectly. Just contact the correct authority about signs being obscured.

    I don't think your 2nd point should matter if you always have a ticket visible to the inspector.

    •  

      I'm in the ACT so everything is the same authority. The territory government does everything that local councils do in other parts of Australia.

      On the second point, exact wording of the email is as follows:

      As you have been able to provide a valid parking ticket covering the time of the infringement notice, the Road Transport Authority considers it appropriate on this occasion to withdraw this notice. Therefore, if another infringement occurs under similar circumstances it will not be withdrawn.

      Seems pretty clear cut that I won't be let off a second time?

  • +5 votes

    It sounds like you got a canned, proforma response that they probably use for every successful appeal.

    Take the win for what it is.

    •  

      I'm sure it's a copy and paste job, but it seems a bit strange to send people an email that specifically mentions providing a valid ticket as a reason why a fine has been withdrawn.

      Why not just say "after reviewing your submission we have decided to withdraw the infringement"?

      • +1 vote

        Because that would involve tracking down the middle management bureaucrat who composed the original text and having them revise it, then tracking down his boss's boss to approve the new copy.

        One of my simple life's rules: Never assume that the person delivering bad service is actually the person responsible for same. Once one comes to terms with the fact that the minimum wage drone mindlessly following some stupid process is behind your email/phone/in-store experience, life becomes a lot more chilled. It's not worth losing their job for going off policy… I'd switch my brain off too if I ever found myself in the same position.

        •  

          Sure, having worked in public service roles in the past I'm aware that the chain of command is most likely convoluted and labyrinthine in this case.

          It's cool when a bureaucratic bungle goes your way, but 9/10 times the opposite is true. It's also worse when you're forced to deal with the same overarching bureaucracy for a lot government-related transactions; whether it be car rego, rates, rubbish collection, development approvals etc.

          I guess I feel like your average minimum wage drone isn't questioning anything that they do, so if the people who the system is supposed to serve aren't identifying shortfalls then who is?

          •  

            @Nomadesque: Processes are designed for efficiency and repeatability. The people who execute these processes are measured on how well the follow the process and how quickly they turn over customers.

            As long as everyone is seen to be receiving the same level of service, then all is good in their little bureaucratic worlds.

      •  

        Pretty sure they have 2 or more canned responses, and picked the wrong one. Stress less, move on.

  •  

    'And they marched day and night by the big cooling tower, they have the plant but we have the powerrrrrrrrrrrrr'

  • +1 vote

    someone should be fired for that blunder. This is ratepayers money at work, shameful.
    I would march in there, let them know you did not buy a ticket and could therefore not have displayed it incorrectly and that they are wrong.
    tell them you need the get out of jail free card for next time in case you ever do have the displeasure to park in one of their unkempt spaces again and that if the overgrowth obscuring the signs is not rectified within 24 hours you will be taking the matter further (lawyer, today tonight, high court etc… your choice).

    DO NOT let them push you around, do not create joinder and do not admit the the false claims they have leveled at you.

    • +1 vote

      You sound like you have a wealth of experience in matters such as these and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter, kind sir.

      •  

        DO NOT USE gmail or any other google or government accounts. Avoid most email types tbh, encrypted messages only or printed paper that can be mailed.

  • +1 vote

    Successfully appealed parking fine but reason given for withdrawal incorrect. What should I do?

    Who cares if the reason is wrong, they withdraw the parking fine, which is what you wanted.

  •  

    There probably a 'box to tick' aka 'an option' for the council to be wrong. So that is why they have marked it as something different.
    Whomever set up their system, most likely did not forsee the possibility or likelihood that the government/council could be in the wrong.

    Also, in my experience, albeit limited, with this sort of thing, the person marking it off, waiving fines etc, they really are not fussed at all, especially with first 'offence' . You could probably tell them a drop bear removed your parking ticket, rhen chased you round the carpark for 20 minutes, and they would still waive the fine as a 'one off' lol.

    • +1 vote

      Might try that in my other vehicle that's never been issued a parking fine and see how I go. If I get let off I should probably post a "Park Free In Any ACT Government Regulated Parking Zone (One Redemption Per Number Plate)" deal.

  • -2 votes

    You should certainly fight this case till the end of this world. Go to Supreme Court, High Court, International Court of Justice.
    Looks like you have nothing useful to do.

    • +1 vote

      I'm not interested in fighting, as my OP attests.

      More just trying to ensure that others aren't caught out for the same reasons as me while also trying to avoid further scrutiny of my own infringement.

  •  

    Councils…

  •  

    Are we that desperate on OzBargain now that we still have to create gripes over traffic fines that have been dealt with and resolved in the your favour? lolz

  •  

    You can tell OP is from Canberra.

  • +1 vote

    Accept the review, don’t question it. Send the car park ooerators a request to correct the signage. It won’t go to the same department, so there won’t be any problems with the review and it will probably get rectified before too long.

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