Renee Dintheer had just stepped off the ferry at Birkenhead Wharf on a miserably rainy afternoon after a hard day at the office in Auckland City.
But at her car, which she had reversed into the angle-park bay to make for safer departure, she spotted something that made her day more miserable.
"I had an infringement notice of $40 which says the offence is 'incorrect angle parking'. But I've been reverse parking on that bay for a year. Why did it take them a whole year to say that I'm parked illegally?" she fumes.
The infringement notice was a hot topic on the ferry the following day. Other passengers had also been ticketed for incorrect parking.
"There's no sign. Nothing says you can't reverse park into an angle park."
Ms Dintheer says it makes sense to park the way she does.
"It's so hard to get out of there because it's on a blind bend and it's on a hill. When you try to reverse out at night time, you can't see what's coming down the hill. It's better to park facing the road so when you get out you get a clear vision and you don't cause an accident."
Auckland Transport claims it is a breach of the Road Code to reverse park into an angle park. It cites Section 6.13 which states: "If the road controlling authority has indicated that vehicles may be parked only at an angle to the direction of the roadway, a driver must not stand or park a vehicle (other than a cycle) otherwise than in accordance with the direction indicated."
But Ms Dintheer says there's no sign on Hinemoa St to indicate which direction a vehicle may be parked. She says there is a sign on nearby Rawene Rd that says reverse parking on an angle park is not allowed, but not on Hinemoa St.
She says over the year she has parked there she has received notices reminding her that her registration or warrant of fitness is due to expire.
"So the same transport agency put that on my car. Why didn't they say my car was parked incorrectly? For a whole year, nobody said anything."
Rick Bidgood, the agency's enforcement manager for parking, says a photo of Ms Dintheer's car clearly shows it reverse-parked in an angle space, as were 11 other cars on the same day. He says since January, 33 infringement notices have been issued, including 12 on March 21, the day of Ms Dintheer's. Most have been for cars and boat trailers parked across several angle parks, he says.
But, in a twist of fate, Ms Dintheer and the others ticketed that day won't have to pay because she noticed her infringement notice stated she was parked on Rawene Rd when she was on Hinemoa St.
Mr Bidgood acknowledges that because of the parking officer's error with the street name the fine will now be waived.
"The 12 infringements issued on March 21 are incorrect due to the incorrect street name and I will exempt all 12," he says.
Ms Dintheer feels somewhat victorious. "I'm happy about it even though it's because they got the street wrong. But they should really put up a sign that tells people it's wrong to park that way."
Auckland Transport says no sign is needed. Spokesperson Sharon Hunter said: "We are trying to reduce signs and as the parking in this location is angled, it is very clear which way you should park".
Ms Dintheer disagrees, but says she has learned her lesson. "I won't reverse park anymore because I don't have money to throw away."
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