Getting a parking fine is annoying, no doubt about it. But parking rules help to ensure fair access to a limited number of parking spots.
National regulations set out the rules for parking fines on public roads and how on-street parking must be signposted for motorists. Local councils are allowed to set fees within the maximum permitted by the regulations.
Did you know?
More than one million parking fines are issued in New Zealand each year.
Private parking services
Private parking buildings and car parks are usually clearly signposted as such, and unauthorised vehicles can be issued breach notices or clamped or towed away. Parking regulations don't apply to these privately owned car parks, and motorists are sometimes caught out by conditions and penalties that vary from one place to another.
Recently a voluntary Code of Practice for Parking Enforcement on Private Land was developed and implemented by a number of parking companies, which has guidelines for signage and enforcement.
AA speaking up for motorists
Parking signs must be clearly visible to motorists, with conditions of parking clearly described on signage and at point of payment.
The AA wants parking companies to be regulated and subject to the same rules as council parking.
Adequate parking that's responsive to demand
The AA is concerned about councils removing parking spaces and buildings, either to convert to more profitable land use, or to discourage car use in city centres.
When demand for parking greatly outstrips supply, there's an increase in illegal parking and road safety issues that result from driver frustration.
Support for 'park and ride' car parks
We support 'park and ride' parking facilities as a practical way of helping motorists make greater use of public transport
Parking conditions that are fair to motorists
We aren't opposed to councils selling or contracting out parking services to private operators, but they must be monitored to ensure profit objectives don't override the fair treatment of motorists.
Greater regulation of private car parks and vehicle towing/wheel clamping is needed. The behaviour and processes of car park operators and towing companies is too variable.
Any regulation of private operators needs to allow for the fair handling of disputes, for example in situations where unclear signposting has resulted in motorists infringing and being fined through no fault of their own.
Councils have been reducing the amount of street "clutter" that results from the gradual build-up of signs. The AA supports the removal of unnecessary signage as long as parking areas and conditions remain clearly visible.
Parking fines need to be reasonable, and kept in proportion to the offence. We don't support fines being raised any higher than current levels. Higher fines need to be reserved for more serious traffic offences.
Penalties for breaches in privately-owned public carparks are disproportionate and the AA wants private parking enforcement and signage to be regulated.