Melbourne Parking Secrets Revealed
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CYBER CRIMINALS STEAL YOUR TAX SECRETS PAGE 4
Herald Sunheraldsun.com.au MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2009 FORECAST: PARTLY CLOUDY. PAGE 28
SHEAHAN:Pictures: MICHAEL DODGE, JACKSON FLINDELL, MICHAEL KLEIN
PIES THE TEAM TO BEATREPORTS: PAGE 5, SPORT
F B 1 2 3 C M Y K
HAWKS v ESSENDON SHOWDOWN
DHS 24-AUG-2009 PAGE
Parking officers hit you with fines of $82,876 a day
DRIVEN TO DESPAIRHONESTY FIRST KIDS SCARRED BY DOGS
Fiona HudsonMELBOURNE parking officers are on target to hand out $43 million in fines this year raising $1 a second for council coffers.Motorists will pour another $25 million into city meters. A special investigation by the Herald Sun revealed Lonsdale St as the No. 1 source of parking ticket revenue. Heartless parking inspectors were caught in the act in their ruthless quest for revenue. The Herald Sun watched as vigilant inspectors hovered near meters due to expire before slapping on tickets. Faulty meters were no excuse. Melbourne City Council parking spokesman Cr Brian Shanahan admitted parking fees and fines were an easy source of revenue. The more we get, the less we have to charge ratepayers, he said.
Special report: Pages 8-9
MEET IDOLS NEW JUDGE
Herald Sun, Monday, August 24, 2009
A FINE MESS
Reading this story could save you money use it to discover when Melbournes parking inspectors are most active and which streets they haunt most
DHS 24-AUG-2009 PAGE
S P E C IA L IN V E S T IG AT IO N10am BOURKE STREET 10am BFIONA HUDSONToo late: This woman returns from late a shopping trip to nd she has been booked. Looking upset doesnt help a bit.
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EALOUS Melbourne parking inspectors are issuing a fine a minute across the city, raising $1 a second for council coffers.
The Herald Sun has obtained a computer database of every parking fine issued in the City of Melbourne between January and June this year almost 240,000 tickets to uncover Melbournes parking secrets. A special investigation into city parking found: DRIVERS are on track to incur almost $43 million in fines this year up 80 per cent on a decade ago. This is on top of the $25 million poured into meters and ticket machines annually. LONSDALE St is the citys venus flytrap, with almost 9 per cent of tickets issued there. Queen, Collins, Exhibition and Russell streets make up the top five. BLOCKBUSTER footy matches are a bonanza for inspectors, with Ben Cousins return game and the bushfires tribute match among the most heavily ticketed days. COIN jams, timing errors and other faults are affecting at least 150 meters a day, putting drivers at higher risk of being fined. UNSUSPECTING drivers are copping extra tickets in wet weather because some multi-bay machines malfunction when it rains. PARKING officers have hired former premier Jeff Kennett for a lecture in October titled Maximising Opportunities in Challenging Times. ASSAULTS and verbal attacks on parking officers have doubled in the past five years as drivers take out their frustration at soaring fees and fines. Melbourne City Council parking spokesman Cr Brian Shanahan admitted parking fees and fines were excellent revenue raisers for the city. The more we get, the less we have to charge ratepayers, he said. But we dont take pleasure in people being fined. Its a necessity. Cr Shanahan said drivers who did the wrong thing were costing city traders extra visits from other customers. We want to turn over spaces quickly, he said. As much as 10 per cent of CBD traffic is generated by drivers circling around looking for an on-street space, he said. And the shortage of on-street spaces is only going to get worse, with council predictions showing drier weather in Melbourne will lower use of off-street car parks. The Herald Sun watched several vigilant inspectors hover near meters due to expire and slap on a ticket within a minute of them ticking over. Fined driver Lisa Totaro, 20, yesterday vowed to fight a $113 fine for stopping briefly in a loading zone + to pick up a parcel from a shop. Id rather go to jail than pay. I was
AVERAGE REVENUE RAISED EACH AVERAGE REVENUE RAIS EAC VERAG REVENUE RAISED EACH AGE VENU ISED ACH
Day Hour Minute Second
$82,876.94 $3453.21 $57.55 $0.96Pictures: MIKE KEATING
All gures are averaged. Total (between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2009): $15,000,726.
HOW MUCH THEY MAKEInfringement No. tickets Revenue
10 MOST TARGETED STREETSStreets Lonsdale St Queen St Collins St Exhibition St Russell St Bourke St Little Collins St Flinders Lane Elizabeth St La Trobe St No. tickets 20,183 16,981 11,349 11,330 9,391 8,451 7,336 6,898 6,164 5,606 Revenue $1,210,829 $984,326 $708,050 $653,847 $553,472 $581,053 $479,946 $468,423 $386,362 $377,177 Meter expired Period longer No valid ticket Loading zone (1) No stopping area Permit zone Clearway Loading zone (2) Taxi zone Disabled parking No parking 108,435 44,820 26,764 17,039 13,124 7,659 5,173 3,182 1,908 1,632 1483 $6,180,795 $2,554,740 $1,525,548 $1,158,652 $1,483,012 $520,812 $584,549 $216,376 $129,744 $184,416 $84,531
5 No stopping area 4 3valid N No lidticket Loading ding ing g zone e
TO TOP 5 O OP TICKET TC TIC HITS HPe Period longer lo
away two minutes and when I came back the ticket was there and the inspector was already gone, the Taylors Lakes P-plater said. The inspectors are absolute vultures. They swoop in and theyre gone so quickly. I think the fines are too expensive for such a small mistake. Its a very high price to pay for two minutes. I hated driving into the city before, and now Im even less likely to go in. Cr Shanahan who recently copped a ticket himself said parking inspectors did not have to meet set quotas, and were not paid bonuses for issuing more tickets. But fine revenue is built into the citys budget each year putting inspectors under heavy pressure to meet annual targets. The City of Melbourne has 104 parking inspectors to police about 3900 meters. There are 12,000 on-street car
spaces across the CBD, East Melbourne, Carlton, West Melbourne and Docklands. The Herald Sun found ageing meters and ticket machines plagued by coin jams, ticket jams, timing errors and other faults are catching out some drivers. Council figures released under Freedom of Information show up to 2500 drivers a day complained about faulty machines last year. This has fallen to about 680 fault reports a day after intensive maintenance efforts and a costly program to replace machines. During several days monitoring inspectors at work, this paper witnessed several drivers collect tickets despite having left notes on obviously broken parking meters. The Herald Sun used FOI laws to obtain the electronic database of all tickets issued until June 30 this year. Information analysts Forensic
Pathways Australasia mined the raw data for trends. Managing director Clint Hampson said the ticket data showed Melbournes inspectors collectively issued up to five tickets a minute at times. Theyre not slacking off, he said. Theyre pretty active, in some parts of town more than others. We found that Friday is the day youre most likely to get fined. And Lonsdale St is far and away the street that gets the most tickets. Fined driver John Street, of Brighton, said he thought inspectors were mean not to give a few minutes grace. They charge so much for parking, the least they could do is give you a two minute buffer if you happen to go a tiny bit over, he said after copping a ticket in Lonsdale St. I think theyre more than mean. But driver Chris Gould, booked in
The excuses some drivers use to get out of tickets and we lift the lid on those who dont pay nes at all.a no stopping zone, said many drivers deserved all they got. Ive done the wrong thing. Its something I wont do again now, he said. It would be anarchy if everybody disregarded the rules. I see why we have to have them. The councils freedom of information unit said the supplied data was raw and unaudited, and there was a chance a small number of tickets could show up twice for technical reasons.
Herald Sun, Monday, August 24, 2009
A FINE MESS
parking secretsOUR TOP 20 TICKET-BUSTING SECRETSBIG footy matches are a ticket bonanza. The bushres tribute game 1February, the NAB Cup grand nal in in March, Ben Cousinss rst game with the Tigers and the Collingwood versus North Melbourne match in May accounted for four of the top ve most ticketed days. shift this year was at 6.15am, and the latest dished out by the night-shift was 1.30am. St is the citys ultimate ticket magnet. Fines from that 7LONSDALEcouncil $200,000 astreet alone earn the chalk to 13THE inspectors use red so dont mark tyres sometimes, just look for white markings if youre being naughty and trying to overstay. St Flinders Lane loading zones are the most 14COLLINS so andextra careful heavily policed, be month. Many are issued in the legal precinct, especially on Tuesdays when trafc court is on and inspectors are in the area to give evidence against earlier r victims. tiny and alleys the of Little Collins and 8THEcornerstreets parking ofnearHQ Swanston streets _ cer _cop plenty of attention, especially at the start and end of shifts. STAY inside the lines. Inspectors booked 132 drivers for poking out of a marked parking bay, 24 for not being parallel, and 16 for not parking close enough to the kerb. to booked on a Friday. Half of top 30 most 3YOURE most likelythe getFridays. ticketed days this year were Tuesday is