Pensioner up in arms over city parking ticket

By Carmen Hall

Forty dollars for parking without paying! It's a scandal, says Viv Sowerby.
Forty dollars for parking without paying! It's a scandal, says Viv Sowerby.

Viv Sowerby is livid after receiving a $40 ticket during a toilet stop.

And she is vowing to delay paying the fine until council threatens court action.

The 65-year-old parked her Nissan on Devonport Rd on June 16 for 23 minutes, to go for a "piddle" at Rialto and admits she broke the rules.

"I am no spring chicken you know so it took me a while ... It was not a mad dash to the toilet and back to the car but my niggle is the price of the ticket."

"I was shocked and I thought that was pretty damn cheeky. It is the most expensive pitstop ever and I will take it to the wire before I even consider paying it. Somebody is obviously getting super rich at the council."

"I could have picked from a number of parking spots because the town was so empty. I think it's crazy and it's totally put me off the city."

Tauranga City Council parking team leader Kevin Nally said parking fees were set nationally and there was a grace period.

"You're allowed to park on the street for 10 minutes without displaying a ticket. So there is no need to load up the meter if you're just ducking into a shop to grab something.

"The 10 minutes applies at the other end too. If your ticket expires at 1pm you won't be ticketed until after 1.10pm."

If an officer observes a vehicle in a pay parking area not displaying a pay and display voucher, the vehicle is chalked and the ten minute grace period kicks in, he said.

People had three months before a fine was lodged with the courts for collection, Mr Nally said.

In 2013-14 the council issued 16,376 fines in the central city that made up 63 per cent of total city fines.

The ticket comes as protest mounts over the council reaped $1.9 million in parking fines this year. Read more about the story here.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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