How about Balderdash


How about Balderdash

Peter Guest tells met that I am missing his point…See his comment here on my post "Horsefeathers" below:

No John, your missing the point.
We do use common sense, perhaps not always well, to decide when loading
is and is not allowed, hence the peak hour bans and off-peak loading.
However once that decision has been made and the rules are in place
they should be enforced, it can never right be for the local shopkeeper
to decide whether or not he is a special case. In most cases the warden
will have a quiet word before writing a ticket but the problem there is
that when he has had a quiet word five days in a row where does he go

When I was much younger I used to commute to work in central London
by motor bike. The route was narrow and a bus route and every day one
junction was effectively blocked by a morning delivery truck outside
the corner shop despite the loading ban We (the council) put in a bus
lane to speed up the buses but the effect was totally negated by this
thoughtless act. all the guy had to do was park round the corner but no
that was too hard.

I and I suspect a lot of parking managers in the real world groaned
when they saw your comment above about decisions being made by "smart
people on the spot". Think about it, how can that ever be fair?

We do have a system of exemptions and permits but this is for
special cases not routine convenience. If the system isn’t workingit
should be changed, but not by ignoring the rules.

All this over my comment that the traffic warden (parking citation enforcer) should be allowed, nay, required to use common sense in issuing their citations.  I’m afraid that I have to disagree with Peter that in "most cases" the warden will have a "quiet word" before writing the ticket. If that were the case, traffic wardens in the UK, and in the US, would not be the most villified, hated, spat upon public servants in existence.

To clarify my position. I believe that in cases where the traffic warden and the vehicles owner are at the vehicle at the same time, the owner should be given first the opportunity to correct the violation immediately and second, should be given a written warning about he infraction.

That warning should be turned in just as a citation is and tracked. If the person receives a second warning the second warning would be converted into a full fledged citation with all the fines and penalties thereto pertaining. When the warning was given, so would a card that explained the program and that if they received another one, for any reason, it would become a citation and they would have to pay the fine.

I am not advocating lessening of the rules, or an inconsistent application of them. I am simply saying that if the parking enforcement people had the ability to issue warnings in cases where the violation was "iffy" or where the driver was involved in the process, much of the confrontational part of parking enforcement would be removed.

I know that in my case, when I have been caught by the police in a minor moving violation and the officer lets me off with a warning, I drive much more carefully after that.  The warning serviced its purpose without involving money, the courts, or prison.  I think parking violations work much the same way. If enforcement people are trained, as are police, in a little PR, the respect for these parking stalwarts would grow and I think, people will begin to understand that what they are doing is keeping Peter’s bus route clear, and not  selectively enforcing unnecessary parking rules and regulations.

We have a uphill battle in educating the public as to the necessity of parking enforcement. I simply think that this is a good place to start. If a driver abuses the "warning" program, tow him and sell his car.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. John,
    I have to disagree as well.
    How many warnings must these “adults” get?
    The sign is a warning, the curb color is a warning, the local news running stories is a warning. As children we were given warnings by our parents and as adults we know the rules, they are posted for everyone to see. But, you counter, a warden would make the exception based on common sense…The only problem with that is the driver didn’t use common sense in blocking the route, the shop owner doesn’t give a lick about the thousands he inconveniences with his delivery.
    It HR issues we are taught that the exception in the filed is the rule of law in court. This system of chances MUST no be allowed for all truck drivers and all shop owners. Multiply that over time and I believe that the street will never have a clear lane based on the solution of chances.
    We all know the rules, we just want an exception made this one time…Sorry folks…Sometimes the needs of the many(commuters) outweighs the needs of the one.

  2. Mr Spock: Sorry I just don’t agree. We are talking about a parking violation here, not capital murder. This is not even a misdemeanor, its an infraction given by non sworn officers who, for the most part, are poorly trained and motivated by quota and not by common sense.
    I am talking about issuing “warnings” only when there is a potential of a confrontational situation when the infraction is not immediately corrected. If the delivery person is going to get a citation anyway, why not simply get it and use all the time they want.
    In New York City the UPS and FeDex drivers get citations, as many as 20 or more each a day, as a matter of course. Their companies pay millions in fines as a cost of doing business. This does not, in any way stop the drivers from double parking and blocking traffic. Its the only way they can do their jobs as delivery people in the crowded city.
    Its a fact of life.
    If the milk doesn’t get delivered, or the phones don’t get fixed, or the ambulance doesn’t find a place to park, who is being hurt — the few or the many?
    I suggest that my method won’t solve any of the parking problems, but it will make the parkers more willing to abide by the rules than simply defy them because they believe that it makes no difference anyway.
    PS — Spock’s famous dying quote, was I think, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”

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