MEMBERS of the Kilkenny Borough Council Policing SPC have urged Gardai to implement a zero tolerance policy on parking infringements in Kilkenny.
Supt Michael Nevin said that he could go down the town and hand tickets out ‘like confetti’ but that he didn’t think that was a good idea.
It has been the policy of Kilkenny Gardai to take a tolerant approach to parking and not to ticket cars where they believe they have been left out side churches during Mass times, at matches or when they only have been left for a short period of time.
Supt Nevin said that parking is an issue where the Gardai have to reflect the wishes of the policing SPC.
“If we move from the tolerant position towards a zero tolerance approach, you could go out and hand out tickets like confetti. I don’t agree with going to zero tolerance. I think we need to be more sophisticated,” he said.
Despite Supt Nevin’s comments a number of councillors requested that the Gardai start handing out tickets more aggressively.
Cllr Joe Malone said that there was no excuse for the way some cars were abandoned at St Fiachre’s church in Loughboy.
Councillor John Coonan said that the parking at St Luke’s also needed to be addressed as he felt it could interfere with ambulances. “Maybe we should adopt the zero tolerance approach” he said.
Cllr Sean O’hArgain who had originally raised the issue due to people parking in cycle lanes said that the approach so far had failed.
He said “the carrot hasn’t worked and now the stick needs to be used to wake people up.”
Call for caution
Supt Nevin cautioned that in the current economic climate a parking ticket could be quite a severe financial burden on struggling families.
Cllr Malcolm Noonan and Cllr Betty Manning proposed that a warning sticker be used initially so that people would know that they were in the wrong before moving to a full fine.
Cllr Manning said that the Gardai were the best people to judge when people were showing “utter disrespect” and when people were genuinely just leaving their cars for a short period of time.