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Driver's $179 fine reveals council's sneaky new tactic

A Queensland motorist has been slapped with a fine as part of the City of Gold Coast Council’s new war on illegal parking.

“Got to be s****ing me,” the local man wrote on Facebook.

“Is this correct? $179 for parking to watch soccer?”

In sharing his fine online, the driver revealed his alleged offence with a photo of his vehicle parked outside the Ormeau Football Club on Sunday July 31.

The image shows not just his car but two other vehicles all neatly parked on the grass facing Orange Mountain Road in Ormeau just before 10.30am.

Three vehicles parked on the nature strip
The driver was fined for 'parking of a vehicle on a road other than parallel.' Source: Facebook

But according to the document it was the angle of his vehicle that led to the fine.

Under ‘offence’ it stated, “parking of a vehicle on a road other than parallel”.

“I wasn’t even on the road, [I] never left the vehicle and [there is] nothing indicating that if I stop there it would cost me,” the frustrated man wrote on social media.

'Really p****d me off'

The post has since sparked a social media backlash, with many coming to the defence of the driver.

“Fight it,” one person wrote on the Facebook post. “There isn’t any signage, it is an open shoulder and public land, there are no parking restrictions as long as you don’t park on the bitumen.”

“Where’s the sign to say parallel parking only?” another said. “The council has really p****d me off doing this!”

Orange Mountain Road in Ormeau
Locals are demanding 'parallel parking only' signs be installed along Orange Mountain Road in Ormeau. Source: Google Maps

But according to one councillor from the City of Gold Coast, it is “unlikely” that the council would install signage there.

“It is a general road rule that you can’t park up on the nature strip like that,” Mark Hammel responded to the post.

“You can park the whole way along Orange Mountain Road (on both sides) as long as you are parallel to the kerb.”

How the driver was caught out

While Councillor Hammel promised to bring up the situation with the Football Club, it was his reference to exactly how the driver was caught out on Orange Mountain Road that ruffled local feathers.

“I’m aware people have been parking here for years without getting a fine,” he conceded.

“But the new Park Safe vehicles rolled out by the City are catching this type of thing.

“The technology means it is easier to identify illegal parking and issue infringements. They can just drive past and generate the fine”.

The Park Safe vehicle
City of Gold Coast Councillor Mark Hammel says the new Park Safe vehicles can 'just drive past and generate fines.' Source: Facebook

Captured by one angry Facebook user, a photograph of a blue and white car with the words ‘park safe’ on the side was shared on the post.

“This car has just driven by the school taking photos of cars parked on the shoulder,” he wrote.

“Far out!” someone else replied. “Now they are so lazy [they] don’t even get out of the car anymore, just driving around taking photos.”

“Oh crap, they are just running past with a camera, scanning and going to town,” someone else added.

The Council's website says there are two Park Safe cars operating on the Gold Coast.

"The technology uses global positioning to determine the position of each vehicle in relation to pre-configured parking areas," the website says.

"This information, along with photographs taken of each vehicle, is later used by a City parking officer to verify that an offence has occurred."

Yahoo News Australia contacted the City of Gold Coast Council for a comment but is yet to hear back.

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