Parking fines likely to exceed $1.5m

Motorists in Dunedin continue to fork out for parking fines.

The Dunedin City Council is on track to collect more than $1.5 million through parking infringements for the financial year ending June 30.

Between July 1 last year and January 31, 39,568 tickets were issued, totalling $1,158,686.

Each year, about 70,000 tickets worth about $2.1 million are issued by the council's 10 parking officers.

The council usually gets about $1.7 million in ticket revenue each year.

Some tickets issued in one financial year will be paid in another, particularly when motorists take cases to court.

Other tickets, usually about 2500 each year, are waived by the council after people write in with explanations.

In general, about half of those who seek a waiver receive one.

About 80% of all Dunedin parking tickets relate to vehicles in the central city area.

Council regulatory services group manager Kevin Thompson said there had been little change in parking behaviour in Dunedin over the past few years.

Some motorists complained and others sought waivers, but most accepted fines and paid them, he said.

Since 2011, parking officers have been encouraged to ''move people on'' without tickets in the first instance, if those people were sitting in vehicles which were parked illegally.

That happened at bus stops, taxi stands, authorised parks and on yellow lines, Mr Thompson said.

If those people refused to immediately move their vehicles, tickets were issued, he said.

The verbal warning system saved about 1000 people from being issued parking tickets in the 2012-13 financial year.

It was now part of standard practice for parking officers, Mr Thompson said.

- rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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