Make sure you wear your seatbelt in the car park

As you travel during the Christmas holiday period, always remember to wear your seatbelt… particularly if you are in a car park.

Yes, that is right.?Stuff?reports: quote.

A Hutt City councillor?whose wife was fined $150 for not wearing a seatbelt in a carpark is questioning?the use of police time?that could have been “better spent” catching?burglars.

Chris Milne is angry?his wife?was ticketed?after being spotted driving in a council carpark not buckled in.

A complaint to Hutt South MP?Chris Bishop resulted in a Parliamentary question that found seven drivers had been stopped in Daly St and fined for not wearing seatbelts on?the same Friday evening, September 21. end quote.

Geez, I can’t tell you how many times I have done this, in the very same car park. I don’t think I have ever seen an opportunist police car there though. quote.

The incident?happened after Milne’s?wife got into her vehicle?in the Riverbank Carpark?and drove a short distance before putting on her?belt.

She?observed a parked police car, as she exited the carpark.

When she drove on to Daly St??she was pulled over by?another?policeman, who issued the?ticket despite her pointing out she was by?then?wearing her?belt.

Police rejected her appeal saying?it was clear she had driven without a seatbelt and an offence had occurred. end quote.

A car park is not a road. Okay, you do have to take care in these car parks, but there are no traffic lights and the speed limit is really low. Also, the traffic directions are clearly marked out. This is not like a supermarket car park, where, quite frankly, you take your life into your own hands, but even then speed is not the issue. Idiocy is usually the issue. quote.

Chris Milne raised the matter with the council’s lawyer, Brad Cato, ?suggesting a council carpark was not?a road.

Cato?replied that the public had?access to the?carpark and it could be considered a road, adding that the definition of road ?was “so ridiculously broad that it just about covers everything”. end quote.

Really? I live up a private driveway. I have a property with a 500-metre easement, which the property owners have to maintain. If they are roads, then surely I can call on the local council to maintain them because… well, they are roads. Can’t I?

My private driveway in Lower Hutt needs resealing but, presumably, I don’t have to pay for it because the definition of a road ‘just about covers everything’. This is garbage, of course.

Also, the very same carpark in Lower Hutt is used on Sundays for motorcycle lessons and used to be used on Thursday nights for the local boy racers to hoon around and do doughnuts. The idea in both cases is to keep these people OFF the roads, so that they, and other motorists, can go about their business in peace.

The offender’s husband, local councillor Chris Milne, said pretty much what we are all thinking. quote.

“To me they?have just made a quick thousand bucks. That is what it looks like to me. It is?easy money but all they have done is piss people off.” end quote.

The police argument is that they are saving lives, of course, but this is a carpark. Generally, if there are fatalities in a place like this, they are nothing to do with wearing seatbelts.

So, as you head off on holiday, remember to always wear your seatbelts. In your driveway, in the supermarket car park, in the hotel car park, on a forestry track, on a farm, in a high rise parking building. Remember, just about everything can be considered a road these days. When it comes to maintaining some of these ‘roads’, however, we know that the story will change, if and when it suits.