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Parking Mad

By Pearl Bullivant on April 7, 2013 in Other

Photo: Sir Donald Stokes

Photo: Sir Donald Stokes

This month, a reader has asked for my views on parking rangers and parking fines. Having abandoned my Ford in favour of walking, buses, Go Get and the occasional taxi, I’m out of touch with the outrage against parking rangers, plus I’m not actually sympathetic to any driver who repeatedly receives parking tickets. If the sign says ‘No Parking’, it means no parking!

Being booked for staying in a two-hour zone an extra ten minutes will elicit some sympathy, but an hour over and you are just hogging the space and deserve to be fined. However, I do find Randwick Council to be totally insidious when the rangers refuse to action complaints from residents about vehicles blocking their driveways. Funny, but the same rangers, who are supposedly overworked or have clocked off when you call, seem able to creep around at 8pm near Melrose Parade, Clovelly and the streets surrounding the Prince of Wales Hospital booking cars encroaching street corners or parked on verges. These same rangers have no qualms booking you as you idle the car for a couple of seconds in a ‘No Stopping’ zone (only because every parking spot is taken by a 4WD on a latte fix) as you drop Grandma off, with her walking frame, outside a doctor’s surgery.

And can Waverley Council explain why the rangers will not accept a vandalised parking meter as a valid excuse for not feeding the meter, despite the fact that you have made the effort to call the relevant number on the meter to report it broken and left a note on the dash explaining the situation? Don’t expect the fine to be waived; the council will be seeing you in Waverley Court and if that’s not revenue raising, what is it? Stupidity on the part of the ranger?

The only people who appear to be immune from the scourge of the parking ranger are yummy mummies. A family car sticker (complete with boat and horse and mummy shopping) on the back of a pristinely clean black Range Rover, plus the mere fact that one is on a mission to get the kiddies to school before the essential coffee morning or gym class, seems to make one a protected species when it comes to parking and traffic fines. As per the letter from ‘Sad Parent, Clovelly’ (The Beast, March 2013), these women have no qualms about putting children’s lives at risk. They clog roundabouts and intersections – the ones near St Catherine’s School on Albion Street and St Charles’ on Carrington Road appear to be favourites – without raising the wrath of a police officer. They park in teachers’ car parks, ignoring the ‘Staff Only’ signs because they don’t apply to them as they rush to get Perseus to tennis, Acrisus to swimming and Leonardo to violin. And they flaunt the ‘Disabled Parking’ scheme with Nanna’s sticker.

Any YM worth her street cred is an expert at the double park, which comes in handy when you need to stop the Jaguar in the middle of the road to give a review of the latest groovy small bar to a friend on the footpath, oblivious to the traffic mounting up behind. But why even bother going to the hassle of double parking when one can embrace the latest illegal parking phenomenon: parking in other people’s driveways or the car park of an apartment block, pretending to be an inhabitant? Just pull into an unoccupied driveway for school pickup and the ranger won’t be the wiser as to whether you actually live there – such a clever trick when the street is littered in ‘No Parking 3-4pm’ signs!

Move over Gangnam… it’s Parking, Yummy Mummy Style!


  1. I loved the parking sign and will be sending it to friends who live on the other side of the airport freeway as an example of “Life in the Eastern Suburbs”. I did wonder if “Photo: Sir Donald Stokes” referred to a famous British photographer, like say Lewis Morley who did the portrait of Christine Keeler astride a chair in 1963. Wikipedia to the rescue as usual.

    I worry for Waverley and Randwick councils. Just like you can’t run a government funded by gambling taxes, you can’t run a council funded by parking meters and parking fines. Long term, they need to set a percentage on parking revenue and put a cap on bonus/incentive payments to traffic wardens.

    Just like mini-buses collect pensioners and take them to their local club, buses could collect yummy mummies and take them to their favourite coffee shop.

    Posted by: Brian from Bondi | April 8, 2013, 11:39 AM |

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  2. My neighbor is a yummy mummy, fit slim and as thick as a plank.
    She drives a BMW X5 (Panzer), naturally when she is not picking up the kids from school she parks the X5 in the way of someones gagrage or in an acccess area to the stairs around the block of units.

    This has to be done of course as the street is about 50 meters away and one would not want to walk, also nasty people who also cannot drive may bump or scratch it.
    I mean how awful that ones BMW with its built in right of way must be parked on the street with all the common peoples cars, let alone having to walk a little with the Hyperactive door slamming noisy brats and possibly meet other normal (but common) people who do not drive a BMW or have designer clothes, these sad normal people have to rent because they cannot afford $650,000 for a 2 bed appartment and the BMW (panzer Ausfuhrung X5) which comes with a built in right of way!

    Posted by: Steve | April 28, 2013, 3:05 PM |

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