READY TO FIGHT THE LAW
If a customer brings his unregistered car to you for a warrant or repair, is the business liable for a ticket if you park it outside on the street when you’ve finished?
Legally, the answer is yes.
Most customers would of course acknowledge the registration ticket was their responsibility – after all it’s their car. But as Paraparaumu member Dayal Landy of Gold Coast Mechanical discovered, the law also says the responsibility can fall upon the person who has lawful possession of the vehicle at the time of the offence. Dayal Landy isn’t one to take injustice lying down. He’s preparing to challenge the ticket in court.
“If it is legal to drive a car with no WoF or registration to or from a place of compliance, how is it not the same for parking at the place of compliance?” he says.
Dayal tried to be the good guy. After he finished working on the guy’s car, he parked it outside and rang the owner to tell him the job was done. But the owner didn’t come to collect the car until the next day and in that time it gathered a parking ticket and a ticket for failing to have a current registration.
WHO IS LIABLE?
“Because we had parked the car, we paid the parking ticket”.
Dayal says he has done this before for customers. But when he found out the customer had been told by the council that he could transfer the ticket for non-registration to Gold Coast Mechanical, it was a step too far.
“I wrote a letter to the Kapiti District Council denying responsibility but they felt that since I had paid the parking ticket I was accepting liability for the other offence. So I am taking the matter to court. It is totally unfair and I’m disappointed the council is pursuing the matter.”
Dayal reckons this law is not something other repairers would know about and he wants to get the word out.
MTA Industry Relationship Manager Greig Epps agrees it seems unfair. “A repairer’s liability for a vehicle should only be for keeping the car safe from harm, not the owner’s lack of compliance.
“The law does state that the person in lawful possession can be held responsible for the infringement. However, we don’t believe it was intended to cover repairers who were carrying out work on the vehicle. We’ll be discussing this with the Ministry of Transport”.
In the meantime, he recommends businesses that need to park customers’ cars on the street should check the registration and tell their customers they won’t accept liability for any WoF or registration tickets. They could also put up a sign in the workshop. “Most workshops have a sign that informs customers about limiting liability for loss or damage, this could be extended to include any stationary infringement notices.”