Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Traffic warden criticised for ticketing Hospice volunteer

 The Newry traffic warden, who issued a Hospice volunteer with a parking ticket while he was delivering urgent medical samples, has been criticized by a local councillor.

The SDLP’s Michael Savage said even though the motorist pointed out a sign displayed on his car that he was carrying out urgent business for the Hospice, his plea was disregarded by the traffic warden in question, and he appealed to wardens to show “compassion and discretion” in such circumstances.

Outlining the situation, Councillor Savage said: “I have been approached by a man who volunteers for the Hospice and gives up his time to deliver samples to the local laboratory and also posts them off for further assessment.

“Last week he was in a rush to get samples posted off and he parked partially on a double yellow line in Railway Avenue and dropped the parcel off at Savages Post Office.

“All the Hospice volunteers have a laminated sign that they put in the dash of their cars to let traffic wardens and police know that they are on urgent business and need easy access. This man had this displayed on his dash and when he came back the warden was writing him a ticket and did not believe him.

“I fully appreciate that traffic wardens have a job to do and support them in doing that but there are times when common sense, discretion and compassion should be applied and this was one of them,” Mr Savage insisted.

“I have asked the Hospice to put a verification contact number on the signs so that wardens can check that the vehicle is owned by a legitimate Hospice volunteer and avoid any further confusion. 

“I would appeal to the wardens to show compassion and discretion in instances like this.  I will be appealing this man’s ticket and trust that the Department will apply the discretion that should have been shown by the warden at the scene,” he added.