A MOTORIST who copped an $85 fine for parking in a space reserved for boat trailers at Safety Beach may have to pay up.
Warren Renton said he had been unaware that the area near the Safety Beach boat ramp was off limits for vehicles not towing a trailer.
He said the trailers-only car park at the boat ramp was more often than not empty during the week while parking spaces outside the shops opposite were in short supply (“Fine time not had by all” The News 26/5/20).
The nearest side street has limited parking.
Mr Renton, who lives at Safety Beach, said there was only one no-parking sign in the car-and-trailer parking area. “I checked the other signs in the carpark, and there is no mention of fines being issued within the car parking area,” he said.
“This is totally inadequate, considering that the shire is conducting random raids to catch unsuspecting motorists parked there. As far as I am concerned it [the sign] doesn’t clearly state anything.”
The shire’s environment protection manager John Rankine confirmed the boat ramp parking area on Marine Drive, opposite Victoria Street, was set aside for vehicles and trailers.
Drivers of single vehicles parking there were “committing an offence and liable for an infringement notice – regardless of the level of occupancy of the car park” – as the no-parking sign indicates it is reserved for vehicles with trailers.
However, Mr Rankine allowed that: “Shire officers may use their discretion on occasions based on occupancy levels and the likelihood of the car park becoming closer to capacity.”
With the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions around recreational boating and fishing there has been a significant increase in demand for boat ramp car parks, Mr Rankine said.
“The shire has an obligation to ensure these areas are enforced so vehicles with trailers can park without the risk of the carpark being full.”