Phil Smith keeps a sharp eye on his watch to avoid a parking fine.
Phil Smith keeps a sharp eye on his watch to avoid a parking fine. Scottie Simmonds BUNPAR

6000 ignore parking limits

BUNDABERG drivers are having trouble telling the time after thousands were fined in 2011 for overstaying their welcome in coveted CBD parking spots.

Exceeding the time limit in a park made up three of the top four reasons why more than 7000 parking tickets were issued by the Bundaberg Regional Council in 2011.

More than 3020 people exceeded the one hour parking limit, more than 2900 people exceeded two hour parking limited and more than 400 people exceeded the half hour time limit.

The next most common parking infringement the council issued tickets for was more than 160 people parking in no standing areas.

The Bundaberg CBD was the most popular place to overstay the time limit or illegally park in loading zones.

Other popular places for infringements included parking in no standing zones at intersections near the Friendly Society Private Hospital and the Bundaberg Hospital.

Drivers at the public hospital and in the CBD were also often guilty of parking in a disabled car park without a permit.

The overstay in parking means that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a park in the CBD.

Bargara retiree Phil Smith said he always found it difficulty to find a park on Bourbong St.

"I drive around the block half a dozen times before I find a park," he said.

Mr Smith, who said he had never been issued a parking ticket, said he was well aware of the timeframes he had to stick to when parking.

"I always check and make sure I get back to my car in time," he said.

But Mr Smith said he would not be too worried if he got a parking ticket with the fines just $10 for an infringement.

"I am originally from the Gold Coast and that is what it costs to park for a day," he said.

The NewsMail spoke to a number of people on the street yesterday who almost all agreed the parking fines should be increased.

Bundaberg Regional Council health and regulatory services manager John Duffield said there were some simple ways to avoid fines.

"Some loading zones do allow passenger vehicles however it is a two minute maximum to allow for picking up and dropping off of passengers only," he said.

"The driver of a passenger vehicle must stay within three metres of the vehicle at all times when using a loading zone."

Mr Duffield also urged that only people with disability parking permits use the designated spot when the holder of the permit was travelling in the vehicle.

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