The Straits Times
Published on Nov 09, 2012

Train parking wardens to discharge duties in a civil manner


MY RECENT experience, in which I was confronted by parking wardens enforcing parking regulations on behalf of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), suggests that they should be better trained.

After placing a parking summons on the windscreen of my car, they apparently waited in hiding for me to return.

When I did, they ambushed me in full public view, brusquely alleging that I had committed the serious offence of tampering with a parking coupon.

They did not identify themselves, preferring to assume that their uniforms were proof enough of their authority to demand an inspection of my car.

They insisted on checking my coupon and retrieving the parking summons because, they claimed, it was wrongly issued.

I refused because of their lack of proper identification and their uncivil behaviour, which was embarrassing in a public place, and decided to drive off.

Subsequently, I lodged a complaint with the URA about the way parking wardens should conduct themselves, regardless of whether they were right – or not – in their suspicions.

But instead of replying to my complaint, the URA informed me that the matter was being referred to the courts.

In my view, it is unreasonable for a motorist to have to endure being ambushed by unidentified men in uniform who insist on checking one’s car and retrieving a parking summons in a brusque manner, and who disregard the courtesies one would expect of officers discharging a public duty.

There is a civil protocol in enforcing parking regulations and the relevant authorities should teach it to their officers. They should also inform motorists of their obligations in such instances.

Peter Khaw