Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bureaucracy as "risk managment"

For several years I have brought my caravan into town for its regular RTA registration check and certification for road fitness. Each year, by arrangement with the local Watch House Keeper I've parked it for a few nights in the police paddock adjacent to his residence. This year was no different, made the arrangements, even slashed the long and uncut undergrowth in the paddock, parked the caravan and gave it a good wash and scrub.

So, about 3.15 pm. just as the parents are picking up their children from the adjacent high school I get a knock on the door. Big ex-patriate Afrikaner acting police sergeant. He informs me that I'm not allowed to park on police property and must remove it immediately. Even chastised me for having slashed the grass as "... we have it under contract to be cut every 2 weeks ...".

Ummm! It hasn't been cut for 4 weeks.

Besides the point, public liability and risk exposure makes the caravan's presence and my slashing the grass makes the police liable for any damage or injury! Remove it.

So I went over and dutifully and lawfully drove it out of the paddock and parallel parked in a street reserved for 45 degree angle parking at a peak time for parents driving into town to collect their "rug rats" from the college.  Didn't I cop an earful from them for taking up four parking slots. All I could do was give them the acting sergeant's name and request that they take their complaints to him. Some listened to me and found it unbelievable that the police would order me out of the paddock and onto the street.

The caravan and truck parked in the street.
One of the school crossing poles is just visible
showing how close I had to park to the crossing.

So, this morning, after all the parents had again arrived to deposit their young, I drove it up town to the motor garage where the certifying mechanic is located. This afternoon it will be back, parked on the street, 'cos i want some modifications done at the local steel workers shop.

Oh, btw! legally, long vehicles that extend outside the length of the 45 degree parking spots are permitted to park parallel, as one officious gentleman who called the council ranger down to book me for illegal parking discovered!  One small win! LOL!


Jabacue said...

Bureaucracy can be a real pain!
You asked if longevity runs in my Dad's family...well, both his parents died before they were 55. But on his father's side there were a few who lived into their 90's. So who knows!?

Gill - That British Woman said...

good grief.......too many people with too much time on their hands don't you think!!!

Gill in Canada

P.S. Look for snow fences on my blog Thursday.....not snow yet thank goodness!!

Valerie said...

You'd think the police would have the decency to let you know in advance that parking there was a no-no.
Hello, nice to meet you. I'm not sure how I got here but I'm glad I did.