Monday, 15 December 2014 13:59

Outdated parking meter technology costing motorists millions

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There’s been a call for smartphone technology to be deployed to overcome problems for motorists over-paying for parking due to outdated technology still being used in many parking meters.

According to Pay-by-App, Pay-By-Phone and ePermit technology provider CellOPark, Australian motorists are wasting an estimated $15 million every year through so-called ‘Parking Fine Paranoia’ – where drivers deliberately overfeed parking meters to avoid being hit with a costly fine.

CellOPark General Manager Michael Doherty says, on average, ‘Parking Fine Paranoia’ leads drivers to pay approximately $2 extra every time they park.

“Drivers are being hit with fines left, right and centre, so it’s no surprise they’re guestimating and over-feeding the meter.

“Taking out this form of ‘parking insurance’ shouldn’t be necessary.  There is a real need to update and revitalise the country’s parking systems to make it easier and fairer for motorists.”

Doherty says a survey of motorists revealed that almost a fifth (18%) of Aussies have been unfairly hit with a parking fine due to faulty parking meters or machinery and, of those, just over half (51%) still had to pay for the fine.

“In many cases, these parking meters are either broken, inaccessible or carried poor signage leading to confusion among motorists and unfair fines being issued.”

According to Doherty, the way we pay for parking has changed very little in over the past 40 years, and “it’s time for City Councils to address the issue. Over 80% of the motorists we surveyed believe current parking systems need rejuvenating.”

“People just want to pay for the time they use and modernising the parking payment process will eradicate the unnecessary overfeeding that is currently occurring, saving motorists hundreds of dollars in the process.”

According to Doherty, old ticket machines are also a frustration to drivers, with over 75% of respondents supporting the use of modern smartphone technology to update current parking systems.  

With 90% of Australian motorists owning a smartphone, Doherty says he believes that “the Government is missing a trick if it fails to put mobile first”.

“We believe there is a better way to pay for parking. Many industries have gone paperless and are becoming mobile centric. There is no reason why parking can’t be brought into the 21st century too.

“We have designed a modern, more efficient and cheaper way of dealing with growing parking demand. Our system is pay-by-the-minute and allows you to only pay for the time that you use through your smartphone.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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