Drivers fall victim to overzealous parking wardens

Drivers fall victim to overzealous parking wardens

There's concern about the increasing number of Auckland motorists who have fallen victim to overzealous parking wardens.

Figures released to Newshub show drivers have been wrongly ticketed for millions of dollars' worth of parking and traffic infringements over the past two years.

Nearly 18,000 tickets worth more than $2.9 million were cancelled in the 2013/2014 financial year.

That number increased last financial year to just under 20,000 tickets – worth more than $3.3 million.

Infringements included not displaying a registration label, and disputes over parking times and locations.

Drivers fall victim to overzealous parking wardens

Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance says it's surprised by the figures.

"Aucklanders expect AT to operate in a fair and competent manner," says spokeswoman Carmel Claridge. "Ratepayers expect that, Aucklanders expect that, and Auckland Council needs to give some explanation for this data."

She suspects the numbers would be even greater if every motorist wrongly targeted disputed their ticket.

"For every one person who makes an application to have their infringement notice cancelled, there'll be dozens who simply cannot be bothered going through that process. They are possibly paying parking fines that they shouldn't be paying for."

Auckland Transport spokesman Russell Derecourt says tickets cancelled during the 2014/15 financial year were just 5 percent of the total number of infringement notices.

It disputes claims the numbers are a competence issue, and says very often wardens just don't have the full picture.

"You see it in the volume of traffic infringement waivers, where people have actually procured a registration label. It wasn't displayed at the time, and wasn't visible to the officer when they issued the infringement. But it's made visible to our adjudication team."

Mr Derecourt also poured cold water on the belief wardens operate on an incentive scheme.

"It's really disappointing that myth persists. There's no quota system on our parking officers."

Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance is now calling for an investigation into the numbers. It says anyone who believes they've been wrongly ticketed should dispute it.

You can dispute your ticket by writing to Auckland Transport, or filling out an online form.