|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Wellington City Council's parking enforcement camera car has been withdrawn from service.
The vehicle has been taken off the road permanently following a review, in the past two months, of its duties.
City Council Infrastructure Director Stavros Michael says the car attracted criticism of the Council's parking enforcement policies. "Its presence on the road has been corrosive for the Council in terms of reputation."
However he warns motorists that the decision to pull the car off the road "should not signal a free-for-all for motorists intent on dangerous or inconsiderate parking around the city".
The car was introduced in August 2010. Its objective was to patrol and enforce parking regulations in targeted areas where offences create a danger or cause unnecessary delay or obstruction to other road users - and where parking wardens on foot have not been able work effectively.
Mr Michael says the Council is required to maintain a safe road network. "We do this through engineering, applying safety rules such as speed limits, through education and, lastly, through enforcement. "A key objective is to influence road user behaviour. It is also essential to persuade the public that enforcement is reasonable and fair."
Mr Michael says the camera car had done good work on some real problem areas around the city. "It was very unpopular among cab drivers who parked illegally on bus stops and double-parked in narrow CBD streets. It also helped tackle dangerous 'stop-and-drop' parking practises outside schools."
However in the past year the car's use for enforcement opened the Council to claims the vehicle had been introduced simply to boost parking-enforcement revenue. "This is not true - but we have decided to withdraw the car because its benefits to road safety were being outweighed by the negative response it received from the community."