It’s not that we are some sort of criminal gang, but we do have some run-ins with law. Most of the time has been for fairly minor offences and has been because we mightn’t have read all the signs accurately … or in one case missed a sign entirely.
Last weekend we went to a nearby village to buy a bicycle for the little trouble-maker. Not too sure why we even bother as we’ll probably regret giving her that level of freedom and I’m actually worried how many different ways she can escape using a bike.
However, we parked the oversized family bus outside the bike shop and started looking around, as well as dragging the little one-off the various shelves and putting back all the bike accessories she could gather in a few minutes.
It actually didn’t take that long to find the perfect bike for and we headed back to the van-truck-bus-tank vehicle.
I gently placed the bike in the boot, closed the hatch and jumped up onto the driver’s seat. The beast jumped into action as I turned the key and I prepared to reverse out when I suddenly spotted a piece of paper in the windshield strategically placed underneath the wiper. It was either one of two things; some silly commercial (ad) leaflet or a parking ticket. Of course it was the latter!
This is where I blame my eyes and my co-pilot. I swear the sign was stating that parking was free on Saturdays and that the parking meter was blinking red, and that normally indicates that the meter has expired or that no parking fee required. Again I chose unwisely!
The sign said free parking Sundays and the meter was blinking because it has expired! To make matters worse, I was 4 minutes over parked.
I’m a law-abiding citizen and decided to pay the ticket today. It wasn’t a huge amount, only $20, but I could’ve saved $19.75 by just inserting a silly little quarter.
Interestingly enough the parking ticket stated that I had to pay $19, so where did the last $1 come from?
Apparently an extra charge is added when you pay your parking ticket called ‘convenience fee’, and is basically a fee to pay for the automated traffic system. One way or another, they manage to get all the extra charges added without the consumer having a chance to even dispute them.
But, I paid the ticket and convenience fee because I’m a law-abiding citizen. It just wouldn’t be worth arguing about $1 or would it?
Lessons learned? Open my eyes and read the signs. Check the meter and ask your co-pilot to look out for signs too.