Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Parking ticket paid - fined two minutes later

Sophie Collis spotted the penalty notice on her windscreen when she returned to her car after a lecture. Photo / Neville Marriner
Sophie Collis spotted the penalty notice on her windscreen when she returned to her car after a lecture. Photo / Neville Marriner

A trainee nurse is baffled about having a parking fine slapped on her car while she was only metres away paying for a ticket.

At 12.55pm on Friday, Sophie Collis paid $3.20 for a permit from a pay-and-display machine at the AUT University campus in Northcote, where she is studying.

But when she returned to her BMW she found a fixed penalty notice on the windscreen for $45. It was was issued at 12.57pm - two minutes after she'd bought the parking ticket.

"I'm confused as to how anyone managed to put the notice on my car while I was a few steps away getting a permit from the machine," she said.

"I didn't see any wardens around and if a warden was there, they could not have avoided seeing me.

"I wondered if the warden had been hiding behind another car or a different ticket machine waiting to pounce as there is nowhere else they could have concealed themselves.

"I had my back to my car while at the machine but I was only about 3m away."

Collis, 28, from Birkenhead, said she spotted the penalty notice on her windscreen when she returned to her car after a lecture.

She insisted she had earlier placed her ticket on the dashboard and said it was in clear view.

She has emailed Auckland-based firm Parking Enforcement Services for an explanation and insists she won't pay the $45 fine.

She has still to receive a reply.

Collis added: "The penalty notice was for me not having a valid parking ticket or window pass, but that is impossible ... It's ridiculous."

Steve Evans, chief executive of carpark operators Wilson Parking, said the company would look into the matter.

"I'm flummoxed as to how this could have happened as we have some pretty rigorous processes in place to ensure things run smoothly.

"If the customer provides us with the relevant details we will speak to the issuing officer. If the penalty notice was issued in error then it will be waived."

AUT University spokes-woman Aimee Driscoll said: "We own, but don't operate, the carpark and this is the first time we have heard of this happening. We will happily advocate for the student and help to get this parking fine cancelled."

- Herald on Sunday

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