Have you ever rushed back to your car five minutes after your parking ticket has expired only to find that parking inspectors have beat you there? Drivers will soon be free of this frustration following the NSW Government’s decision to implement a 10 minute “saving grace” period.
The new rules will come into effect on 31 January 2019 and apply to drivers who have paid for a physical ticket with at least one hour of parking. The rules will not apply to transactions performed on meters that do not dispense tickets or multi-space parking meters. Spaces in private carparks, bus lanes and loading zones are also exempt.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perottet acknowledged that local councils across NSW were using parking fines as a revenue-raising strategy. He outlined that the new rules were a “fairer and more common-sense approach” to parking fines.
Mr Perottet declared that he would also write to local councils across NSW and advise them to reduce parking fines. He acknowledged that local councils will have to prepare for the impact that this will have on their budgets.
The new rules are the latest attempt to address criticism that governments are pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars from parking fines annually. The ABC reports that the City of Sydney Council made $35 million from parking fines in the 2017/2018 financial year, issuing almost 250 000 fines.
In June the State Government reduced the most common parking fine from $110 to $80 in areas that the state polices. Local councils have since been encouraged to do the same and can opt into the reduced fines from 1 January 2019.
The NRMA has suggested that revenue raised from parking fines should be directed straight back into road maintenance in the community, similar to the way that speed camera fines are deposited into a Community Safety Fund. At present, there is no obligation on local councils to put the money towards improving roads.
If you need advice on disputing a parking fine, or any other traffic matter, please contact Hamilton Janke Lawyers 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 4038 1666 (office hours) or 0422 050 502 (24/7).