No mercy for driver over windblown parking ticket

JEANETTE Fitzsimmons will avoid leaving her car in Warrnambool’s CBD after losing two appeals for leniency over a parking fine. 

She told The Standard she had lost faith in the city council’s review system and considered it uncaring and inflexible.

Her fight for justice started after parking in the Ozone car park on December 23 on an outing with her 85-year-old mother, visiting from a nursing home in northern Victoria.

“As we shut the door, unbeknown to us the wind blew the ticket onto the floor of my car,” Mrs Fitzsimmons said.

“The ticket was for two hours and we were back after about an hour only to find the infringement notice which had been put their only minutes before.

“I went straight around to the council and put in an appeal.”

Mrs Fitzsimmons said after the first appeal was rejected she lodged another, this time accompanied by a note from her mother. In reply she got another penalty notice with costs added — $83.10 in total.

“Maybe honesty is not the best policy in windy Warrnambool,” she said.

City council health and local laws manager Ian Fitzgibbon said parking officers adhered to policy and to instructions for motorists at each car park. 

“The officers make an assessment based on evidence in front of them, including whether a ticket is displayed on the dashboard, as is requested of motorists,” he said.

“We believe a consistent approach is a fair approach. 

“The appeal process provides an opportunity for any evidence to be presented. Final adjudication is made by senior council officers taking into consideration all evidence and council’s current policies.”

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