By BRIDGET COOK
A HAMPTON Park man has called on the City of Casey to hand out more fines to residents who illegally park trucks in residential streets to deter them from doing so.
Steve Paris made the call after reading in the News that councillors resolved at a meeting in March to write to the Minister for Roads advocating for an increase in penalties associated with parking trucks in residential streets.
Councillor Rosalie Crestani said at the time that it could be cheaper for a truck driver to break the local law by copping a regular fine than pay for truck storage.
Mr Paris said that was definitely the case in his street, Summit Court in Hampton Park, with a neighbour receiving only one fine in the past year despite parking his truck on the nature strip most of the day and every night.
He said he had complained to the council on numerous occasions, as have other residents in the street, but the truck’s owner had only been given one infringement.
“This truck has been parked there day and night for over a year,” he said.
“Residents have complained about being woken up at unreasonably early hours by the truck engine noise.
“The truck driver has shown utter disregard for the rights of other residents by flouting the council’s regulations that no trucks can be parked on the nature strip.
“The council has the responsibility to ensure the residents’ right to enjoy safe and harmonious environment.”
Mr Paris said he believed some other council issued infringement notices weekly, then daily, when similar problems arose to put a stop to it.
“To allow repeated offenders to flout the law and get away scot-free is not written in the rules,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s fair that a person can get away with this, when it affects everyone else in the street.
“We have to deal with the noise, the truck taking up space and it has even run over my bin and the rubbish went everywhere.
City of Casey manager community safety Caroline Bell said the council had received five complaints in relation to a truck parked in Summit Court since September 2013.
“Patrols by council in response to the complaints resulted in one infringement being issued,” she said.
Ms Bell said the council had seen a significant increase in the number of complaints from residents about trucks being parked in residential areas.
“In response to the increase in complaints about trucks parked on residential streets, council has increased the number of after-hours patrols in the evenings and on weekends, to address the concerns of residents who are impacted by long/heavy vehicles being parked in residential streets,” she said.
“These impacts include the noise associated with the vehicles, the visual impact on the amenity of the neighbourhood and the physical obstruction they cause in narrow residential streets.
“In 2013, council issued 125 infringements to long/heavy vehicles parked illegally throughout the municipality.”
When the council called for tougher penalties for the offence last month, VicRoads director of vehicle and road use policy James Holgate said VicRoads had no plans to review the current penalties.