New way council could sting those parking illegally
Motorists in the Tweed have been stung $600,000 in parking fines in the past two years and that could soon increase as council decides whether or not to roll out a new way of catching drivers who park illegally.
The Tweed Shire Council votes tomorrow whether to pay Reino International $328,000 for a mobile parking infringement system.
Two parking officers and assisting rangers currently walk the streets and manually fine motorists. The new approach would involve one officer driving a vehicle equipped with a camera each shift to snap photographic records of vehicles overstaying in parking spaces.
Fines can then be issued by post after processing.
Council planning and regulation director Vince Connell said "regular physical and verbal assaults on officers", cost-cutting and community demand to crackdown on parking compliance drove consideration of the new system.
The new automated approach will enable the council to "provide a more cost effective, efficient, accountable and safer means of conducting parking compliance inspections", he said, adding: " … Thereby eliminating the increasingly aggressive and dangerous attacks from people who currently are issued tickets on the spot".
It is understood the new approach would capture more overstaying vehicles.
The council rosters on two parking officers each shift, working as a pair, and they use handheld mobile devices to generate tickets for parking and other offences.
Mr Connell said the council had struggled to balance the costs of the two officers and associated business expenses with the income received from issuing fines.
"The balancing of this budget has become increasingly difficult in recent years, given the need for Work Health and Safety reasons - to attempt to manage regular physical and verbal assaults on officers - for the two officers as a team in each shift, and growing demands by council and the community to widen their carparking compliance services," he said.
Motorists can expect regular inspections at time-limited parking in shopping centres at Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads and Kingscliff, as well as school zones.
"In the balance of their inspections, the officers will regularly target those other areas where they have received complaints, such as those vehicles using time limited areas for illegal camping," Mr Connell said.
NSW State Revenue is contracted by the council to manage the collection of fines and reviews.
The council raked in $332,000 in fines in 2018/19 and $275,000 in 2017/18.