Parking Fines

Reporter: Mark Gibson

"Not much makes you madder than getting a parking fine, especially if you don't think you deserve it. But instead of just whinging about it maybe you should fight it, you might just be surprised how you go."

"We took on Joondalup council and won." Danni Trinder got a 70 dollar fine for parking on a footpath. Problem was, this photo proves her car was on the verge, not the footpath. "Danni, why did you decide to fight it? -Because it issued on the ticket that I was parked on a pathway and there was a pathway visible there and I wasn't on it."The good news is Joondalup Council admitted it was wrong.. well, sort of. They agreed to scrap Danni's fine, but there's one small catch. "I'm on a 2 year probation apparently, that if I reoffend in the Joondalup area for a parking fine or anything they'll resurface this infringement and I'll have to pay it."

Danni's one of the brave few. A survey of Perth councils shows only ten per cent of drivers challenge parking fines.. but if you do, you've got a fifty per cent chance of winning."We're encouraging councils to be reasonable and to do the right thing but we also implore the public, I mean you need to do the right thing as well."Ricky Burgess, from the W.A. Local Government Association."If they've got a valid reason and a legitimate reason why they've overstayed their parking, they need to write to council to explain that and to give evidence, it's important that they give evidence, and if they can do that councils will look at it I'm sure."

In the City of Perth last year only 7 per cent of fines were challenged, but 46 per cent of them were successful.

In the Town of Vincent, 16 per cent appealed, with a 41 per cent success rate.

In Fremantle, just under ten per cent of fines were appealed, with 68 per cent winning.

And in the Town of Cambridge almost 13 per cent appealed.. with a whopping 72 per cent successfully having their fines cancelled.

"Parking tickets in some places can add up to hundreds of dollars so some people are finding it's well worth doing this." Christopher Zinn from consumer group, Choice."You don't have to go to court, you can appeal the process sometimes as easily as on line, it's really just a question of familiarising yourself with the process that applies to you and your particular ticket."

Of course, you must have a legitimate excuse. "If for instance the machine's broken, the parking machine's not working, if the battery's flat, if there's something wrong with their car, if you know there's money stuck in the machine." But saying you were running late for an appointment or not familiar with the area probably won't cut it. "The staff at councils and councillors are reasonable people, but they're not stupid." And any extra evidence, like photos, will help your case.Christopher says "Have a go, you'd be surprised how many people are successful." Danni says "If you didn't commit an offence you've got to chase it up."

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