$60 fine for 13 seconds on Queenstown broken yellow line

by Lauren Pattemore - May 21, 2024

A Queenstown resident has been pinged $60 this month for stopping on a broken yellow line whilst waiting to complete a U-turn. 

The motorist says he saw in the footage accompanying the infringement from the Queenstown Lakes District Council he was only stopped for 13 seconds, and he "couldn't believe it" when it came in the mail.

He calls it "opportunistic ticketing".

Today (Tuesday, May 21) the council has replied to his contesting of the fine - and they're not waiving it.

The incident happened on Camp Street in the CBD, as the man stopped to turn around to access the parking area along Camp Street and Earl Street. 

He says he's standing firm, and has told the council he's not paying the fine, describing the price to Crux as "extortionate". 

"I'd get it, if it was a $10 fine, but $60 is just not proportionate.

"I just want to normalise, like, fighting back on the BS, you know...they keep doing this to people and people keep paying it."

He is aware that there are people in the community who are doing it tough with the cost of living, and they might feel pressured to quietly pay the fine. 

But, he reckons council is "being quite brutal and not cutting people much slack".

Consumer NZ investigative writer Vanessa Prately says, looking at the letter of the law, the council has every right to issue a fine - it is illegal to stop on a broken yellow line.

However, she can also see the other side.

"The law aside, it seems unfair to issue a fine to someone who was completing a U-turn. It would be a different story if the driver had stopped and exited their car, for example."

Crux approached the Queenstown Lakes District Council for comment on the incident, and a spokesperson says observing broken yellow lines is important to ensure the safety of all road users and needs to be enforced consistently. 

"A warranted parking officer watches CCTV footage and applies discretion before deciding whether or not to issue a ticket."

They say this sort of enforcement is not new and the council has been monitoring this space for approximately seven years.

"Anyone who believes they have been ticketed incorrectly can apply for a waiver. Such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Main image (Supplied): The driver's infringement footage from when their black vehicle was sitting on the yellow line, waiting to complete a U-turn.

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