Western Australian (WA) motorists are wasting an estimated $1.9 million every year through ‘Parking Fine Paranoia’, according to a study by parking app provider, CellOPark.
With parking fines in WA costing an estimated $16m each year, motorists are living in financial fear, resulting in many drivers deliberately overfeeding parking meters to avoid being hit with a costly fine.
On average, ‘Parking Fine Paranoia’ leads drivers to pay approximately $1.90 extra every time they park, which soon mounts up throughout the year.
“Drivers are being hit with fines left, right and centre, so it’s no surprise they’re guestimating and over-feeding the meter, says Michael Doherty, General Manager at CellOPark. “Taking out this form of ‘parking insurance’ shouldn’t be necessary. There is a real need to update and revitalise the country’s parking systems to make it easier and fairer for motorists,” says Doherty.
The study also found that about a quarter (23%) of WA motorists have been unfairly hit with a parking fine due to faulty parking meters or machinery and, of those, just under half (43%) still had to pay for the fine. In many cases, these parking meters are either broken, inaccessible or carried poor signage leading to confusion among motorists and unfair fines being issued.
“The way we pay for parking has changed very little in over the past 40 years and it’s time for City Councils to address the issue. Over 80% of the motorists we surveyed believe current parking systems need rejuvenating,” said Doherty.
“People just want to pay for the time they use and modernising the parking payment process will eradicate the unnecessary overfeeding that is currently occurring, saving motorists hundreds of dollars in the process,” he added.
Old ticket machines are also a frustration to drivers, with over 75% of respondents supporting the use of modern smartphone technology to update current parking systems. With 90% of Australian motorists owning a smartphone, Doherty believes that the Government is missing a trick if it fails to put mobile first.
“We believe there is a better way to pay for parking. Many industries have gone paperless and are becoming mobile centric. There is no reason why parking can’t be brought into the 21st century too,” says Doherty.
“We have designed a modern, more efficient and cheaper way of dealing with growing parking demand. Our system is pay-by-the-minute and allows you to only pay for the time that you use through your smartphone,” Doherty concludes.
CellOPark is currently available for use in many locations around Australia. CellOPark supports tens of thousands of its members, who are already enjoying the benefits of Pay-by-App, Pay-by-Phone and ePermit parking technology.