On a weekend in December 2009, I saw three separate incidents of vehicles illegally parked in bicycle lanes. Parking inspectors were unavailable, so I decided to report to Traffic Watch on 131 444 when I was near a phone. I do not have a mobile.
Incident One: As I told the driver of the 4WD that he was parked in a bicycle lane, I noticed that in his left hand was a mobile phone but not to his ear. So I added that he could have stopped elsewhere to use the phone. As we spoke, he transferred the mobile phone to his right hand and pushed a button. He told me to get a life, we spoke, he repeated to get a life, then wound up the window. The police accepted the report.
Incidents Two and Three: Unattended vehicles parked in bicycle lanes. The police declined to take these reports, saying that they were parking offences and not traffic. I could accept that parking in a loading zone would be a parking offence. However, I thought that blocking traffic of a pedal-powered vehicle, and forcing a vulnerable cyclist into the motorised vehicle lane, constituted a traffic offence. Anyway, I know that police can deal with parking offences, although they prefer local council inspectors to do so, and councils are closed on the weekend. I asked to speak to the supervisor, and got her number, but she was also disinterested.
Raises questions: What is the scope of Traffic Watch? What is required to persuade police to listen? Do I need to buy a digital camera and snap parking in bicycle lanes?