Cars in Casino’s Barker Street flaunt the rules. Fortunately for them Richmond Valley council is not as strict as its counterparts in Lismore or Byron Bay.
Cars in Casino’s Barker Street flaunt the rules. Fortunately for them Richmond Valley council is not as strict as its counterparts in Lismore or Byron Bay. DAVID NIELSEN

Crossing the ticket line

Drivers on the Northern Rivers will say almost anything to try and get out of a parking fine.

But what are the most common excuses?

According to Lismore City Council acting senior ranger, Joe Monks, most people said they ‘would only be five minutes’ or that they ‘didn’t see the sign’.

“We get a lot of excuses,” he said.

“A lot of people want to argue with you – they seem to think their interests are more important than the road rules or safety.”

An incident which stands out for Mr Monks involved a delivery truck driver who had parked in Carrington Street in Lismore across a disabled spot and in a ‘no stopping’ area.

“He told us that he couldn’t find a loading zone,” Mr Monks said.

“But we gave him a $422 fine for that one.”

Stuart Thomson, who spent 12 years as a ranger with Lismore City Council, said he had even seen drivers park on pedestrian crossings.

“They say to you, ‘but I’m only going to be here for five minutes’,” he said.

“I’ve seen cars parked in loading zones, in no stopping zones, double parked and people who stay well over the time limit.

“In Lismore the rangers are pretty fair with the time limits. But people still make up excuses.

“Sometimes it’s hard just keeping a straight face when you hear some of those excuses – they’re just beyond belief.”

In the Byron Shire, it’s not just drivers who are being caught out by vigilant council rangers.

Regulatory services manger, Wayne Bertram, said they were also on the look out for illegal campers.

“A good recent example was the person who camped in a ‘no camping’ area and said they ‘didn’t see the sign’,” he said. “We take photos of these types of situations.

“And when the photo shows that the person has used the ‘no camping’ sign to actually tie their tent to, it’s a little hard to use that excuse.”

Mr Bertram said staff were often surprised by the excuses drivers used to try and get out of parking fines.

“Nobody likes to get a parking ticket,” he said.

“In an effort to make parking easier for locals and visitors to Byron Bay, the council has a colour coded parking guide available on the council website to assist people in finding the parking areas suitable for their stay.”



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