Council to investigate narrow street parking fines

Hume council discussed ways to provide leniency to those fined for parking on narrow streets (Unsplash).

Oscar Parry

Hume council will investigate ways to prevent illegal parking, reduce the amount of fines, and provide leniency for those who park on narrow streets.

Cr Sam Misho raised a motion at council’s July 8 meeting, calling for it to investigate narrow street parking infringements and the circumstances leading to illegal parking in these locations.

The motion called for the council to review its infringement management policy, encourage officers to communicate with those who park illegally in narrow streets to understand their situation, receive a report on the amount of narrow street parking infringements handed out, and investigate fast-tracking the installation of more indented parking bays throughout the city.

Cr Misho said while he opposes breaking the law, he wants the council to consider the challenges of parking in narrow streets.

“It is critical that our ratepayers are protected and such fines are not an unwarranted driver for revenue for council,” Cr Misho said.

“From the information that I received earlier this week, it suggests that we have derived $688,000 from parking fines. Perhaps … in terms of our revenue, it’s not much, but I believe it is too much for our ratepayers to have forked out that much in Hume,” he said.

Cr Misho said narrow housing estate streets with curved kerbs make it “nearly impossible” for residents to gauge if they are parked correctly away from a curb on a flat surface.

Cr Joseph Haweil said the council’s options for assisting residents who live in such streets could be to consider the tolerance level for official warnings in lieu of fines and the directions given to the external infringement company that manages appeals and reviews.

Cr Jodi Jackson said she was in favour of a system that considers difficult parking circumstances and treats residents “like people, and not just dollars on a financial sheet.”

The council said it can not fast-track indented parking projects at this current time due to the approved budget.

The council reports the indented parking bay program is fully allocated for the next 10 years, with about 420km of narrow streets yet to be completed.