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Urgent! Advice needed - moral dilemma

(124 Posts)
titchy Mon 23-Sep-02 13:12:07

This is nothing to do with parenting or children so I hope you all don't mind my asking for advice.

I stupidly got a parking ticket a couple of days ago, but the warden wrote out my car registration incorrectly. Hooray I thought I've got away with it, but now I'm having guilty thoughts of some poor so and so who will be getting rude letters in a few weeks threatening him/her with a thousand ound fine. The car is only three years old, so the person who gets the letters will have a fairly new car too and if they can afford a three year old car then maybe they'll be able enough to argue that it wasn't them, or maybe the incorrect registration doesn't exist.

I know I'm trying to justify not paying and grasping at straws, but dh says I'd be silly to pay when I can get away with it, and most people would take advantage. I'm feeling a little guilty though.

What would fellow M'netters do?

Thanks!

Titchy

ks Mon 23-Sep-02 13:13:38

Message withdrawn

PamT Mon 23-Sep-02 13:19:37

Do traffic wardens keep another record in which the correct reg. no would be written? If they only keep a carbon copy of the ticket then I would be really tempted to ignore it and don't you get a reminder through the post before any major action is taken in case someone has taken the original ticket as a prank. I'd be tempted to ignore it but knowing my luck it would backfire on me, being Mrs Unlucky as I am.

threeangels Mon 23-Sep-02 14:03:41

I persoanlly would pay. This is just who I am and how I am as aperson.

Lindy Mon 23-Sep-02 14:14:57

I would pay - the fact you are thinking about it means that if you don't, you would always be worrying about - it could cause quite a lot of aggrivation to the other person if they have to 'prove' it wasn't them - and in another instance that could be you or I.

I think it is refreshing that most people still have morals.

sis Mon 23-Sep-02 15:41:09

same as Lindy and threeangels here, I would pay.

Lucy123 Mon 23-Sep-02 15:46:37

titchy - where were you parked? was it an outrageous scourge-of-society place like a disabled bay or on a corner? if so, pay.

If not, could it be that the ticket was in fact meant for someone else but some wag put it on your car? And well - I'm normally super-honest (pay all my taxes etc), but it is only a parking ticket - don't the tickets have the make of car on them so the other person wouldn't pay either?

nics1stbaby Mon 23-Sep-02 15:58:18

Yep, I would. It would only worry me!

bundle Mon 23-Sep-02 16:04:55

titchy, I agree with your dh.

titchy Mon 23-Sep-02 16:07:29

Lucy123 - I was parked for literally 5 minutes in a car park which was virtually empty, not on double yellows or in a disabled bay so was quite cross to be caught. The ticket seems to be a tear-off slip so I assume the warden has a carbon copy underneath, and not the make of the car was not on there. It was certainly meant for me - I cannot believe another car was parked with an registration only 1 digit away from mine.

It looks like I will have to pay, if only to salve my guilty conscience.

WideWebWitch Mon 23-Sep-02 16:41:04

Well, I am usually very honest but personally, I wouldn't pay this. Mainly because I can't bring myself to feel guilty about parking fines, hate them, have paid loads but I wouldn't pay if they'd made a mistake. The person who actually has the reg on the ticket *will* dispute it and *won't* have to pay it I'm sure. The warden made a mistake (and they rarely do) so I reckon you should allow yourself to get away with it. From what you've said though Titchy, you'll feel guilty if you don't pay it so I would go with your instinct!

lilibet Mon 23-Sep-02 16:47:32

I would pay just so that I wouldn't have the worry of it catching up with me in the future.

Lucy123 Mon 23-Sep-02 16:51:15

in that case i agree with www: they were out of order to give it to you (probably because many traffic wardens are paid comission nowadays - a silly idea). I've disputed parking tickets before and they are surprisingly reasonable. I do see why you'd feel guilty though.

Tinker Mon 23-Sep-02 18:27:05

<hanging head in shame> I would just, sort of, leave this for a while and genuinely 'forget' about it. Then you haven't really made a decision NOT to pay. Leave problems long enough and they solve themselves!!

Ailsa Mon 23-Sep-02 18:30:22

Does the car park have CCTV?

I would pay.

oxocube Mon 23-Sep-02 18:38:05

Definitely wouldn't pay it! Sorry but don't think that anyone else would end up paying it either. The person who *owns* the car relating to the incorrect registration no. probably lives at the other end of the country to you and would have no difficulty in proving that she/he was not in that particular car park. Don't feel too bad. These things probably happen more often than we realise!! How much money are we talking about anyway?

bossykate Mon 23-Sep-02 19:15:17

oh dear, this is probably going to sound very po faced indeed! when i am faced with a "moral dilemma" along these lines, i ask myself what example i want to set ds, how would i like him to behave in future and how would i explain the behaviour to him in the context of the values i would like him to gain from me.

on this basis, in a similar situation, i would feel bound to pay up!

on the bright side, titchy, what price a clear conscience and freedom from stress about it all?

Chinchilla Mon 23-Sep-02 19:42:07

Pay - how would you feel being that other person, having to prove that you were not in that place at that time? It might be some little old lady! I know that sounds a bit silly, but you really don't know who could be at the receiving end of these threatening letters etc. It could really worry them. How much is it at the end of the day? And, you know that you shouldn't have parked there. You will be kicking yourself for doing it (I have had one for an equally silly reason, parking half in a public space on the street, but half in a 'permit only' section.), but you must pay IMO. Sorry

Willow2 Mon 23-Sep-02 19:42:12

May be wrong, but surely they have to get the registration correct to be able to legally issue a ticket. I've been wrongly done before, contested the fine and lost - so I say forget it. Which is probably not the correct thing to do but what the hell.

helenmc Mon 23-Sep-02 20:11:12

I would pay, but can't you ring up from a public phone box (then they can't trace you back) and explain the situation anomously??? Our tickets have increasing rates - so its cheapest to pay within a week and then goes up each weeek therafter, Sorry to worry you even more.

SofiaAmes Mon 23-Sep-02 22:18:07

I wouldn't pay, just to finally get even for the tickets that I got that I shouldn't have gotten. Like the time the guy watched me arrive at my car with an unexpired meter then watched me loading my ds, buggy, shopping etc. into the car as the meter expired and then gave me a ticket because I hadn't managed to get everything in the car in time...I contested the ticket, but was told that they didn't believe me and I had to pay it anyway. Or the time a parking warden watched my dh put the money into the wrong meter without saying anything and then ticketed him for having expired meter.

icanreallyhelp Tue 24-Sep-02 00:16:04

ok ok i can really help as i am i'm scared to say an actual warden! don't bombard me with abuse please (i take my fair share when i'm actually at work...and right now i'm not)

ok the facts...the driver copy does not have the same info as the warden copy..it obviously has a carbon copy of what you get but also the warden copy has other stuff like the vehicle make & colour (& other boring stuff).

if you have recieved a computer generated ticket, printed type from the council - chances are that the incorrect reg no was also entered in the computer record as thats what prints the ticket.

if you were given a hand written ticket then it may be human error on that written info but the back up source may have been entered correctly in which case YOU WILL EVENTUALLY BE TRACED.

Normally when a fine is not paid the higher offices run a computer check on the reg info they have and see if it tallys with the colour & make details they also have. if all the entries were incorrect they will be unable to trace you.

bottom line...such a question of loyalaties....from my knowledge you could leave it & plead ignorance...they may never trace you....but if they do...just say THERE was NEVER A TICKET ON THE CAR..act like you don't know DON'T say you got it & realised it was wrong at all....just say you don't know nothing about what they're going on about & could they send you a copy..they'll then send a copy...and THEN & only THEN do you say...there must be some mistake its not my registration number! They'll ask if you were there on that date etc...just say i don't remember...possibly...its too long ago...chances are it won't really catch up with you...but if it does go as far as my scenerio...you can decide to give in then & just pay.

final note:- I WOULD JUST WAIT...but only YOU know if YOU can live with that...don't worry about it going to another person....it wouldn't happen..honest...it would only be YOUR VEHICLE they try to locate...chances of the reg even existing are slim but even if it did it is so rare to be the same make, colour & area sold it won't make any sort of match!

P.s This will not work for EVERY TICKET only the circumstances of this one so please don't ALL try it...you'll get in alot of bother!! (& so could I)

ScummyMummy Tue 24-Sep-02 00:21:52

OOOO! Insider info! The power of Mumsnet is astonishing!
Good luck whatever you decide, Titchy.

Ghosty Tue 24-Sep-02 08:29:13

Hooray for icanreallyhelp!!
I was reading this thread and thinking - nope, definitely would not pay, all the silly warden's fault for making a mistake etc etc and then a real live warden pipes up and says don't pay - fantastic!
I love Mumsnet!!!

Marina Tue 24-Sep-02 09:21:24

Hmmm, titchy, for me bossykate has hit the nail on the head. In your position I'd pay, but do let us know what you decide. Rotten luck getting caught.

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