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Sunday, March 12, 2006

 

There’s people and then there’s people

In my game you do as much as you think your conscience can stand. You play by the rules as set down and do what you feel comfortable with. This does not mean you back away from a confrontation. Any of our lot knows that Bill Sticker is a veteran who takes no nonsense when occasion demands and never backs down. On the other hand, I’m not one of those who will bend our guidelines just to get another notch on the tally post.

I witnessed just such an occasion today. One of the newer guys was booking a driver he’d caught on double yellows, the driver was there arguing the toss within the ‘waiting time’ we allow to ensure no loading is taking place. He kept the driver talking while he printed out the ticket and handed it over.

Most of us allow the five minutes regardless on double and single yellows, just to ensure the ticket ‘sticks’. Now between you, me and the bedpost; I tend to tell driver “You moving? Go on then. You’ve got thirty seconds before I finish writing this ticket.” At which they generally push off very rapidly. If they don’t then I’m back and ready to book them for taking the mickey. They will have committed the cardinal sin ‘Thou shalt not take the piss out of the enforcing officer’. There is only one penalty.

What my erstwhile colleague was doing was, at least to me, rather underhand and mean. To wit; keeping the driver talking while the ‘clock is ticking’ and issuing before the due time. Many of us frown on such behaviour, considering that it brings our job into even more disrepute than it already is in. What he what he was doing was conning the motorist into believing that he was booked when there was nothing on the windscreen or in his hand.

Right, here’s the full SP, the griff, noduff. Unless you are in a camera controlled zone (Which will be marked with notices), the Enforcing Officer will have to have either handed you the ticket or placed it on the windscreen for that ticket to be valid. If you drive away before the ticket is legally issued and placed in your hand or on your windscreen, it is not valid. This may not apply in London, as they tend to operate under a different set of rules down there.

Please bear in mind that running over an Enforcement Officer to avoid getting a ticket will certainly land you in so much hot water you’ll think you’ve been reincarnated as a Lobster. Far more than if you just put your hands up and paid up promptly. Once a ticket is paid, then there is no other comeback. Run over a Parking Enforcer and the full weight of the law will drop on you. However, if he / she hasn’t printed the ticket, just get in your car and drive away. Don’t stop and argue, just go. There will be no comeback. A ticket is a legal document that must be ‘served’ properly or it is not valid.

Most of the guys don’t even let it get that far. If someone drives away, that’s it. We’ve got families and kids who want Husband, Wife, Dad or Mum to come home in one piece at the end of a long shift and your neck isn’t worth it for a lousy parking ticket. Most of us are human. It’s just the odd two or three ticket hounds who make us look worse than we actually are. We despise them as much as you do.

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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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