A photo of a council ranger's patrol car parked in a loading zone, despite there being a sign prohibiting the move, has sparked outrage among drivers who have claimed a double standard.
While at first glance, the image might incite rage among some motorists — as it appears the council worker is breaking their own rules — in fact, the Melbourne ranger's act is perfectly legal.
Taken in June, the Boroondara City Council ranger's car was photographed in the loading zone on a Friday night, with one frustrated local resident coming forward claiming he was fined for doing the same thing.
Act perfectly legal, council says
Melbourne man Rui Zhou said he copped a $185 fine for "briefly" parking in a loading zone while dropping his two kids off at school. He said the family were rushed, and he was in the spot for less than a minute.
"It was in the morning just before 9am so we were in a hurry — I didn't get out of the car and only stopped for about five seconds," Zhou told Nine News.
"I can understand if it's a police car or ambulance, that's absolutely understandable," he added, pointing to the fact the ranger was not in an emergency vehicle.
But council says the ranger was well within their right, and the law, to park there.
"Authorised council officers are allowed to park a council vehicle in a loading zone to perform their duties, including parking enforcement," Boroondara City Council's Urban Living Director Scott Walker said.
"The officer parked this vehicle on a Friday night while undertaking their enforcement duties in a busy location where many parking spaces (outside of loading zones) are for community use."
In Victoria, police, emergency and enforcement vehicles are exempt from adhering to parking regulations in "reasonable" circumstances — on the provision the driver is acting safely.
Though Zhou eventually contested the fine, a judge found it lawful and the offence was upheld.
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