Is having a piss taking the piss?

How would you like it if you couldn’t go to the toilet for 5 and a half hours at a stretch while at work?

Auckland bus drivers desperate for toilet breaks say over-zealous parking wardens are fining them for leaving their vehicles at bus stops while answering nature’s call.

Tramways Union branch president Gary Froggatt says 20 to 30 drivers have been fined in the past year for parking on bus stops, including two who challenged their $60 fines in court but lost.

Although some had simply stopped to buy food, in which case the union accepted they had no defence, others needed to find toilets and were being victimised for exercising a human right.

Auckland Transport parking officers were being “absolutely over-zealous and they are just not accepting there is a requirement to exercise discretion”. Mr Froggatt said drivers had to work up to five-and-a-half hours without an official break, and a reduced number of public toilets was causing difficulty.

Some carried empty soft drink bottles with cut-off tops to the backs of their buses to urinate into them.

“One of the drivers even carries a potty – it’s not used when there are passengers on the bus – the contents go into the gutter.”

Apart from the humour inherent in a situation where Auckland City Council parking wardens are ticketing Auckland Transport bus drivers, I think it is ridiculous that the “Most livable city in the world” has 3rd world conditions where drivers have to pee in an old soft drink bottle.  

Mr Hannan said parking officers generally waited about five minutes before issuing tickets at bus stops.

“But the last thing we want is unattended buses blocking stops while other buses have to queue or double-park to let off passengers.”

Several areas, such as in Beaumont St next to Victoria Park, had been set aside for bus parking so drivers could get food or go to the toilet.

So, is this a case of bus drivers taking the piss, or having one?

Discuss.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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