Last weekend, I got a parking fine. A parking fine I was quite happy with.
I went to a shopping centre in a nearby suburb with BooBoo for an emergency shop at Smiggle (don’t ask! Just don’t ask).
I had the other car, the one that does not have the blue wheelchair symbol sticker on the back, and the “wheelchair access” sticker. It did have her permit, though, as always tossed somewhere in the window. And I parked in a disabled spot.
We did our emergency shop. We had some sushi (BooBoo) and a coffee (me). We found a Mac Book Pro lying on an empty chair in the food court and handed it in to the concierge. And then we went to the car to find a parking fine in the window.
(Picture of fine for parking in mobility spot without displaying permit, $531 penalty)
I was happy. Five hundred bucks and a demerit point. And yet I was happy. I so often see people parking without permits. So it was nice to see they enforce these things properly.
I wrote to the State Debt Recovery Office explaining that I did actually have my permit (quoting the permit number) and did actually have my child with me. CCTV footage would surely confirm this, as would the concierge we handed the found computer to. The suction cap thingy on the permit often malfunctions in hot weather, and the sliding dashboard does mean the permit at times slides down. And with the tinted car windows it would have been difficult to see the permit where it was lying.
I received a message back.
Application to review fine denied - unless I provide a statutory declaration by the permit holder.
The permit holder is 9 years old. She can just about write her first name, but cannot provide her surname or address. She is to write a statutory declaration about whether I correctly displayed the permit?
Yeah, I think not.
Matters are complicated by the fact that I honesty don’t remember how and where I displayed the permit. You know, you do something all the time and you just can’t recall. The permit is always there. But it is conceivable that I may have forgotten to put it up. I feel I cannot swear to this (am I possibly studying law?!), so I am not going to get my child to write a statutory declaration of something I may have done wrong. Apart from the fact that she can’t write one.
I don’t have the time and energy.
I don’t need trouble with RMS.
You pick your battles. So I paid the fine.
As I said, I’m happy this sort of thing is monitored and fined.
How is this supposed to work when you have a permit holder who cannot write or communicate?
All in all, I am still happy with the fine. I'm happy to suck it up in the scheme of things - policing the parking is vital for so many of us, and it therefore totally worth it.
But folks, don’t ever forget to put your permit up, and position it in a way that if it falls, it does not slide down out of obvious sight. And double check. It's worth it.