Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Aushiker » Tue May 01, 2012 10:32 am

Our (and Bicycle Transport Alliance's) esteemed Roland has made the news again :)

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COUNCILS need to start using witness evidence in the battle to stop motorists parking illegally on shared-use paths, a cyclist says.

Roland Parrotte is seeking to stamp out bad parking behaviour on pathways throughout the City of Stirling.

Although he does not live within the council boundaries, he cycles through every morning and afternoon as part of his weekday commute.

Armed with his smartphone and a few applications, he has caught drivers on a weekly basis obstructing shared-use strips and sent details to Stirling rangers.

The 46-year-old said the parking practice not only damaged pathways but could pose dangers for others using the walkways.

“These drivers simply don’t have a right to park there,” Mr Parrotte said. “You could be a parent with a pram on a shared path and, due to the inconsiderate actions of others, be forced to leave the safety of the path to walk around a parked car, possibly going on a busy road...”

“The City prefers wherever possible to issue an infringement at the time it is sighted by officers, as officers are easily able to testify in court if an infringement is challenged,” he said.


More in inmycommunity

I find Mr Laurie Crouch's justification for not using the evidence provided by members of the public such as myself (e.g, Broadtrans Earthmoving and Roland including video evidence staggering. It is incredulous that the City of Stirling finds it all too hard to use evidence from the public, including video evidence.

I find it incredulous because any of us can present in the Supreme Court as credible witness in a say a murder case yet the City of Stirling cannot cope with witness statements.

Any of us can present video evidence to the Western Australian Police and have traffic infringement notices issued. Personally I have been asked to retain my video evidence for possible presentation in court, yet again Mr Crouch finds this all to hard.

The inaction by the City of Stirling lacks justification and suggests a lazy incompetent approach to management of these issues. Mr Crouch clearly needs to address his fundamental lack of understanding of the rules of evidence. The City of Stirling should act immediately to ensure its staff act in a competent manner and to ensure its staff understand the basic principles of the law and rules of evidence.

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by BNA » Tue May 01, 2012 3:04 pm

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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Red Rider » Tue May 01, 2012 3:04 pm

Well said Andrew, and good advocacy Roland.

It may be a resource issue for the council. If they allow people to submit their own evidence, dare I say there would be an avalanche of submissions. But I think this is short-sighted. In the short-term there may be more, but longer term people will do the right thing and submission rates would drop.

I live and work in Stirling City.
I walk along a footpath with my son in a pram and there is often a car parked across it, taking up the entire verge width, forcing me to push the pram out onto a not unbusy road. I've left notes on the windscreen, nothing changed.
Also along Herdsman Parade heading north to Jon Sanders, cars waiting to turn left onto Jon Sanders take up the bike lane.
Drivers on King Edward waiting to go through the coffee drive-thru wait on the bike lane. Now that is lazy!
The list goes on...

It would be fantastic if we could submit evidence to help stop these dangerous problems.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Mulger bill » Tue May 01, 2012 8:12 pm

No cyclists working in the council infringements section y'reckon?
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue May 01, 2012 8:48 pm

I mostly agree Andrew. But in something like a murder case as you allude to the prosecutors only presents SOME witnesses. Those witnesses are obviously filtered.

I suspect that you scrupulously give full footage, with timeline well before and after. Your complaints will be dismissed before they should because of the actions of other less scrupulous complainants. Those that complain with footage that is ambiguous to all but themselves. Or selectively include lead-in and lead-out time.

While not all parking inspectors are scrupulously honest or fair as witnesses, they are probably accepted as such until the beak has reason to think otherwise.

Unfortunately anyone in a position to take complaints and initiate legal action will also likely have been subjected to many many reports made with an agenda that colors the witnesses credibility. That makes the filtering process somewhat more cynical when taking complaints from cyclists.

I suspect also that complaints from motorists about cyclists get similar treatment. I mean, would you trust a motorist complaint after the idiocy of Warney?
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby r2160 » Tue May 01, 2012 9:25 pm

I think the difference here is that they are being presented with video evidence. Its pretty hard to avoid acknowledging that its happening when you are presenting positive proof.

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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby gururug » Tue May 01, 2012 9:37 pm

If the said reporter does not live within that council area, and those that are getting fines do, perhaps the council is preferring to favor residents over passers through?

Also, authorities particularly when it comes to exercising power generally do not welcome direction from a "common citizen".
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Aushiker » Tue May 01, 2012 10:03 pm

gururug wrote:If the said reporter does not live within that council area, and those that are getting fines do, perhaps the council is preferring to favor residents over passers through?


I was a resident of the City of Stirling when I reported the Broadtrans Earthmoving matter. Made no difference.

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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed May 02, 2012 12:55 am

r2160 wrote:I think the difference here is that they are being presented with video evidence. Its pretty hard to avoid acknowledging that its happening when you are presenting positive proof.

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It is not at all hard to dismiss after you have seen a lot of self serving videos too often presented here. Often limited to a few seconds out of a longer and broader context. Other times alleging clear distances and times when it is not at all clear except to a person who is predisposed to a certain pov. My post alludes strongly those.

But I go further. I allege that those rubbish reports then cause some authorities to themselves look at other better footage with their own filters and preconceptions sometimes born out of those rubbish complaints. And unfortunately that includes videos that should not be dismissed so lightly.

The classic illustration of course is of soennecken who started a discussion on one of his videos on Mon Mar 05 in Moron Motorists #2. His was so skewed that almost all disagreed strongly so he then removed his video from Youtube and then reposted a fragment. You can now only see his edited fragment at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSUHWwljXBc&feature=player_embedded where you will note that he froze it from comment as people here would have explained the fuller context.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSUHWwljXBc&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

No, it is not at all hard to dismiss video evidence.

Jules21 summed the issue up nicely.
jules21 wrote:this sort of thing, while inevitable, risks reducing the credibility of camera footage evidence.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby rolandp » Wed May 02, 2012 9:01 am

Hi, an additional piece of information provided by me by the City of Stirling, which is why I started this off:
In answer to your question, as the ranger (Authorised Officer) is the person who has to justify why he issued an infringement in a court of law, it is not good practice for them to issue one based on a photo unless they took the photo at the time they were there. This is the law. Photographs taken by an external party are considered secondary evidence and as a trained prosecuting ranger for the City I can tell you that we would not proceed with a court case based on a photograph unless the officer was there at the time to infringe and see the contravention for himself. If an infringement is issued then there is a possibility of the matter proceeding to court at a later date.

Authorized Officers have to take into account any factors that may be occurring in the area at the time of the alleged offence and all this has to be explained to a Magistrate should they request that information.

If the answer was not to their satisfaction i.e. the Ranger did not witness the offence before, he issued the infringement but did so based on secondary evidence, the matter would be thrown out of court and the City would be responsible for paying any associated court costs.

We do appreciate the effort that you have made to report these and will take action where we can. I have issued a patrol request for a ranger to patrol that area every evening, and infringements will be issued if the officer deems it appropriate.


When it becomes a repeat offender (where there are plenty of examples here), then this shows that the current process is not working and additional action is required.

In addition, I've been doing the above approach for around 4 years (ie e-mails, Neat Streets etc), and only this year, I get confirmation back that the process that I had been following for 4 years wasn't correct and advised to phone Ranger Services. Tried this approach, it failed as the owner moved their car whilst I was on the phone, so we need a better approach.

This then leads onto the damage that is being caused to the paths:
Image
which is still not resolved.

At all of the example locations used, there are no 'No Parking Signs', which I was told was not required as there are local bi-laws covering this. The bi-laws aren't working if this type of damage is being caused by offenders. In my opinion, an alternative way to report this types of issues is required.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Aushiker » Wed May 02, 2012 10:40 am

Interesting Roland ... I go back to my "murder" example and the actions of the WA Police in response to video evidence. Interesting how I can be charged for murder without a police office witnessing the event but I can illegally park my car. It is up to the Court to determine the credibility of the evidence not the City fo Stirling ... given their recent issues they of all Councils should know this.

If they had sent that to me, I would have asked for the references to the "law" referred to in the comments ... It would be interesting to see what they come back with if anything at all. Unsubstantiated statements of that nature are always a red flag to me.

Personally I would follow this response up with the WA Ombudsman.

BTW the Rules of Evidence in WA are embodied in the Evidence Act 1906 and the Local Government Act 1995 can be found here. I have only had a very quick look at the Local Government Act but the relevant area appears to Part 9 Division 1 — Objections and review with sections 9.12 or thereabouts and onwards having some relevance. Need to review it more carefully but so far I am struggling to find support for the view expressed by the Council officer.

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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Aushiker » Wed May 02, 2012 5:19 pm

One of Roland's friends yesterday afteroon ...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVZfilcaddI&hd=1[/youtube]

You may have notice the give-way signs applying to path users. I am curious as to the legality of these signs as the Road Traffic Code 2000 in regulation 57 requires vehicles entering and exiting a carpark to give way to those on the path. They provide this lovely picture to illustrate this regulation. In this image "B" is required to give-way.

Image

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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby gururug » Wed May 02, 2012 6:04 pm

I believe that would be give way to pedestrians on path. Speed of and trajectory bicycle would be obsurd for cars to give way,
EDIT:
"
(c)
any vehicle or pedestrian on any land abutting the carriageway (including a path) that the driver crosses to enter the carriageway."

I stand corrected.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Mulger bill » Thu May 03, 2012 7:28 pm

Not to mention the big yellow "Keep Clear" painted on the area. :roll:
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby trailgumby » Thu May 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Aushiker wrote:One of Roland's friends yesterday afteroon ...

It's on occasions like those I wish I could channel Danny McCaskill and manual up onto the hood and over. :wink:
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

http://www.facebook.com/Drive2WorkDay
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Aushiker » Thu May 03, 2012 11:04 pm

trailgumby wrote:
Aushiker wrote:One of Roland's friends yesterday afteroon ...

It's on occasions like those I wish I could channel Danny McCaskill and manual up onto the hood and over. :wink:


That would be a classic for sure :)

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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby eldavo » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:48 pm

Red Rider wrote:I've left notes on the windscreen, nothing changed.

Try a message on the windows in candle wax, I haven't seen it in action but apparently it's less difficult to ignore and litter than a pleasant paper note.
Women say that lipstick works well in a similar manner.
Don't forget the winking smiley face ;)

PS: Not intending to be perpetually facetious, I found this comment on Andrew's blog from Kevin to be positive and constructive.
http://btawa.org.au/2012/04/04/illegall ... red-paths/
Kelvin Posted April 13, 2012 at 3:51 PM
I have found that placing a copy of the Cycling fact sheet No66 which is about vehicles obstructing the path on the windscreen with the key line about the penalty and adding that the vehicle has been reported gets action in at least 50% of cases. I carry a couple of preprinted and highlighted copies with pre written advice in large bold that the vehicle has been reported. The fact sheet carries the Dept of Transport logo thus some official status.

PS: thumbs up to Roland for being the diligent custodian of my commute (same suburb/route)
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby citywomble » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:38 am

I am sorry guys but, with the shared path 'give way' markings at the coast, you seem to be missing a very relevant issue here.

The give way signs are there to reinforce what already applys because of the configuration of the road elements.

In the video posted it is not a car crossing the path but cyclists and pedestrians crossing a carriageway. This is not a driveway which crosses a path (and kerb) at the level of the path.

The accesses are at the same level of the main carriageway which means each of these crossings is a 'road' intersection that leads to a (private) service road behind the road boundary.

The key here is the level differences and the location of the kerbs. The fact that the kerbs return across the path (which has a pram ramp) means that the PATH terminates. This is a normal intersection treatment.

The 'Give Way' markings apply to vehicles (that is bicycles) and not to pedestrians. At this location the relevant road rule is that which requires turning vehicles to give way to pedestrians (that are crossing the intersection).

The road rules are very specific at intersections, cars turning give way to pedestrians but not to bicycles (which are vehicles). The logic here is because bicycles are travelling at a different faster speed so cannot be given right of way.

Are the give way markings lawful - almost certainly not as they were not installed by MRWA. Does this matter - No because the laws are very specific that all path using vehicles (bicycles) are required to give way anyway. So, the give way signs are correct.

Cyclists on paths that terminate at road crossings are at the greatest risk of probably anywhere on their journey. It is generally rated as 11 times higher that on the road and is almost solely down to inappropriate actions by the cyclist.

It says give way - is that too difficult to do!!!! The markings are there for a purpose.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Aushiker » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:04 pm

WA Road Traffic Code 2000 as at August 31, 2011 ...

57. Giving way when entering carriageway from land abutting carriageway or road

(1) A driver entering a carriageway from land abutting the carriageway, without a traffic-control signal or a “stop” sign, stop line, “give way” sign or give way line, shall give way to —
(a) any vehicle travelling on the carriageway or turning into the carriageway (except a vehicle turning right into the carriageway from land abutting the carriageway); and
(b) any pedestrian on the carriageway; and
(c) any vehicle or pedestrian on any land abutting the carriageway (including a path) that the driver crosses to enter the carriageway.

58. A driver entering land abutting a carriageway or road from a place on a carriageway without a traffic-control signal or a “stop” sign, stop line, “give way” sign or give way line, shall
give way to —
(a) any pedestrian on the carriageway; and Road Traffic Code 2000
(b) any vehicle or pedestrian on any land abutting the carriageway that the driver crosses or enters; and (c) if the driver is turning right from the carriageway — any oncoming vehicle on the carriageway that is going straight ahead or turning left; and (d) if the carriageway the driver is leaving ends at a T-intersection opposite the land abutting the carriageway and the driver is crossing the continuing road — any
vehicle on the continuing road.

Both regulations are accompanied by illustrations showing who gives way as per the diagram previously posted

Abutting is defined in the Macquarie dictionary as ..

Verb (i) (abutted, abutting) (sometimes followed by on or against) to be adjacent: this piece of land abuts on a street. [Middle English abutte(n), Old French: coalescence of abouter join end to end (a- A-5 + bout end) and abuter make contact with one end (a- A-5 + but end)]

I have yet to find anything at all in the regulations to support the alternative interpretation of the regulation. Maybe appropriate references to the relevant regulations would be appropriate.

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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby GraemeL » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:29 pm

We were out for a ride yesterday and went across several sections of path that we had to give way to cars.

This was along the South Perth foreshore, where the carparks are and the cycle path crosses the road that leads into the carpark. Cyclists must give way to cars, I mentioned to the wife at the time that it seemed a bit backward to me, I would have thought it would be the other way around, cars give way to all traffic on the cycle path, after all it's not a main road and only a carpark road.

Like the carparks along the beach, cyclists are required to give way to cars entering or exiting the carparks. Again I think it should be the other way around.

When backing out or driving forward out of a driveway, you are required to give way to all traffic including the footpath, so why is it different for a carpark?

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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby rolandp » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:48 pm

Posted several items relating to Thrifty Van Hire today:
Image - http://www.neatstreets.com.au/Issue/10009139
Parking on fire hydrant/access point

Image - http://www.neatstreets.com.au/Issue/10009138

Image - http://www.neatstreets.com.au/Issue/10009137

I used to also post on their facebook page, but they have since stopped public comment.

They also like watering in winter, so its not just cyclists they like to annoy.
Image - http://www.neatstreets.com.au/Issue/10008867
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Thoglette » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:06 am

citywomble wrote:In the video posted it is not a car crossing the path but cyclists and pedestrians crossing a carriageway. This is not a driveway which crosses a path (and kerb) at the level of the path.


Aushiker wrote: (laws on entering a carriageway)


Thanks both for actually quoting laws & regulation - even if you disagree on whether it's a carriageway or something entering a carriageway.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby Joeblake » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:17 pm

In answer to your question, as the ranger (Authorised Officer) is the person who has to justify why he issued an infringement in a court of law, it is not good practice for them to issue one based on a photo unless they took the photo at the time they were there. This is the law. Photographs taken by an external party are considered secondary evidence and as a trained prosecuting ranger for the City I can tell you that we would not proceed with a court case based on a photograph unless the officer was there at the time to infringe and see the contravention for himself. If an infringement is issued then there is a possibility of the matter proceeding to court at a later date.



Perhaps the author of this letter should be queried as to what he considers primary evidence then. This is usually from a "witness" (Macquarie dictionary "to see or know by personal presence and perception"), which it would appear Mr Parrotte is. He has personally seen the alleged offence. The photograph is to substantiate HIS evidence. It is true that the ranger could not rely on a photograph that he did not take personally, but here it is not the ranger that is giving evidence. His job (as is that of the police) is to present witnesses and their evidence to a finder of fact, and let the finder of fact decide whether to accept the evidence of the witness or not. If the matter comes to court then it will be up to defence to challenge the witness, not the ranger. If the witness says "I took the photograph at such and such a time and place", then the defence has to introduce an element of "reasonable doubt" (in a criminal matter) to undermine the evidence of the witness.


“The City prefers wherever possible to issue an infringement at the time it is sighted by officers, as officers are easily able to testify in court if an infringement is challenged,” he said.


Defence may wish to cross-examine the ranger, but if they ask "did you take this photograph yourself, or witness it being taken?" and the ranger answers "no", it doesn't matter one iota.

Who says someone who is not a ranger would not be able to challenge an infringement?

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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby blkmcs » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:39 pm

Joeblake wrote:
In answer to your question, as the ranger (Authorised Officer) is the person who has to justify why he issued an infringement in a court of law, it is not good practice for them to issue one based on a photo unless they took the photo at the time they were there. This is the law. Photographs taken by an external party are considered secondary evidence and as a trained prosecuting ranger for the City I can tell you that we would not proceed with a court case based on a photograph unless the officer was there at the time to infringe and see the contravention for himself. If an infringement is issued then there is a possibility of the matter proceeding to court at a later date.



Perhaps the author of this letter should be queried as to what he considers primary evidence then. This is usually from a "witness" (Macquarie dictionary "to see or know by personal presence and perception"), which it would appear Mr Parrotte is. He has personally seen the alleged offence. The photograph is to substantiate HIS evidence. It is true that the ranger could not rely on a photograph that he did not take personally, but here it is not the ranger that is giving evidence. His job (as is that of the police) is to present witnesses and their evidence to a finder of fact, and let the finder of fact decide whether to accept the evidence of the witness or not. If the matter comes to court then it will be up to defence to challenge the witness, not the ranger. If the witness says "I took the photograph at such and such a time and place", then the defence has to introduce an element of "reasonable doubt" (in a criminal matter) to undermine the evidence of the witness.


“The City prefers wherever possible to issue an infringement at the time it is sighted by officers, as officers are easily able to testify in court if an infringement is challenged,” he said.


Defence may wish to cross-examine the ranger, but if they ask "did you take this photograph yourself, or witness it being taken?" and the ranger answers "no", it doesn't matter one iota.

Who says someone who is not a ranger would not be able to challenge an infringement?

Joe

Well said Joe, I suspect that you have more experience of this than most. :D

All this talk of secondary evidence and going to court is just a smokescreen to hide behind.
What percentage of infringements issued by the CoS actually end up in court?
A percentage will be paid without argument, the majority of those unpaid will then be sent to the Fines Enforcement Registry to add to the $257,000,000.00 in unpaid infringements that FER already does not collect and a very small number will be contested, some of those will be cancelled by the CoS and some will have the matter resolved in court.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby exadios » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:11 am

Joeblake wrote:
In answer to your question, as the ranger (Authorised Officer) is the person who has to justify why he issued an infringement in a court of law, it is not good practice for them to issue one based on a photo unless they took the photo at the time they were there. This is the law. Photographs taken by an external party are considered secondary evidence and as a trained prosecuting ranger for the City I can tell you that we would not proceed with a court case based on a photograph unless the officer was there at the time to infringe and see the contravention for himself. If an infringement is issued then there is a possibility of the matter proceeding to court at a later date.



Perhaps the author of this letter should be queried as to what he considers primary evidence then. This is usually from a "witness" (Macquarie dictionary "to see or know by personal presence and perception"), which it would appear Mr Parrotte is. He has personally seen the alleged offence. The photograph is to substantiate HIS evidence. It is true that the ranger could not rely on a photograph that he did not take personally, but here it is not the ranger that is giving evidence. His job (as is that of the police) is to present witnesses and their evidence to a finder of fact, and let the finder of fact decide whether to accept the evidence of the witness or not. If the matter comes to court then it will be up to defence to challenge the witness, not the ranger. If the witness says "I took the photograph at such and such a time and place", then the defence has to introduce an element of "reasonable doubt" (in a criminal matter) to undermine the evidence of the witness.


“The City prefers wherever possible to issue an infringement at the time it is sighted by officers, as officers are easily able to testify in court if an infringement is challenged,” he said.


Defence may wish to cross-examine the ranger, but if they ask "did you take this photograph yourself, or witness it being taken?" and the ranger answers "no", it doesn't matter one iota.

Who says someone who is not a ranger would not be able to challenge an infringement?

Joe


Quiet right! The ranger's position is bizarre. He or she is a public officer whose job is to police certain laws. Imaging what would happen if the Police Dept. decided that, because none its officers saw a mugging occur, they could not bring a prosecution if they had sufficient evidence, witnesses, etc.
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Re: Cyclist bids to stop illegal parking

Postby AndrewBurns » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:29 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:It is not at all hard to dismiss after you have seen a lot of self serving videos too often presented here. Often limited to a few seconds out of a longer and broader context. Other times alleging clear distances and times when it is not at all clear except to a person who is predisposed to a certain pov. My post alludes strongly those.

But I go further. I allege that those rubbish reports then cause some authorities to themselves look at other better footage with their own filters and preconceptions sometimes born out of those rubbish complaints. And unfortunately that includes videos that should not be dismissed so lightly.


I disagree in this case (vehicles parked over shared paths) simply because the complaint is not about something subjective like safe passing distance. Quite simply if a vehicle is parked on a shared path and the camera footage shows the vehicle parked on a shared path including number plate then that's 100% of the evidence needed to issue a ticket. What could anybody possibly do to the video to make that situation seem different to what it is? What possible mitigating circumstances could be lost through the video footage no matter how biased it may be?

The fact that a citizen is taking the photo/video footage instead of the ranger should not make any difference, it's up to the defendant in court to attack the credibility of the evidence should they contest the ticket and if they do I don't see on what grounds they could argue in these circumstances:

- "Is that your vehicle and license plate"
- "Yes"
- "That vehicle parked over that shared path in a no parking zone"
- "Yes but..."
- "Guilty"

What argument could be mounted?
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AndrewBurns
 
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