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NSW Parking Fine on Public Holidays - Should I Go to Court?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by jcard23, 15 June 2015.

  1. jcard23

    jcard23 Member

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    I received a parking fine at 7:30am on Monday 8th June, which was a public holiday, when my car was parked in a bus zone.

    The traffic control device reads:

    BUS ZONE
    6:30 AM – 7:30 PM
    MON-FRI
    8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    SAT – SUN

    I believe this penalty has been issued erroneously as NSW legislation states that where parking signs state days of the week but do not specifically mention the words "including public holidays", the parking and time restrictions do not apply on public holidays.

    Directly quoted from the 2014 Road Rules:

    "Rule 318 Limited effect of certain traffic control devices"

    "Sub rule (3) If information on a traffic control device that is at a place indicates that it applies on a particular day of the week, the device does not have effect on a day that is a public holiday for the place unless information on the device states otherwise."

    "Example : If a loading zone sign indicates that it applies on Monday to Friday between 9 am and 4 pm and information on or with the sign does not indicate that it applies on public holidays, the sign does not have effect on any public holiday falling on a Monday to Friday."

    I requested a review from the SDRO based on Rule 318 (3) Their response is quoted below.

    "We considered the circumstances you presented. We also consulted the Caution/Review Guidelines, legislation and information provided by the issuing authority. Our investigations conclude the penalty still applies."

    "The issuing officer has noted the signposted parking restrictions were clearly displayed. As the sign does not state Public Holidays excepted the restrictions are in place at all times the signage – 6.30am-7.30pm Mon-Fri and 8.30am-5.00 Sat-Sun."

    "Only public buses are permitted to stop in bus zones. It is important to keep bus zones clear for buses to safely pick up and drop off passengers. If these areas are not kept clear, buses may be forced to stop in other areas which may cause traffic hazards and compromise the safety of passengers and road users."

    They've said that the sign does not state that Public Holidays are excepted and that therefore they are included. This appears to be incorrect and in direct contradiction to the legislation?

    With regard to the third paragraph, this is also incorrect. Other vehicles are allowed to stop within the bus zone outside of the times specified on the traffic control device. We frequently park there overnight as it is often very difficult to find a spot in this area. We always move the car before 6:30am on weekdays and before 8:30am on weekends. As this was a public holiday our first assumption was that Sunday rules would apply, as the bus would be running to a Sunday timetable. The first bus is not until after 11am so we were not obstructing the bus zone. We planned to move the car before 8:30am. The ticket was issued at 7:30am.

    I'm writing back to the SDRO with all the above and will also write to the council. If I don't get a response from them either explaining why I'm wrong and the fine is valid or overturning the fine under Traffic Law, should I go to court? Am I right? I can't get an appointment with Legal Aid before I need to decide.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Going only by what you have told us here
    (missing facts missing and unknown ifs, buts, and maybes not allowed for),
    I'd be thinking about court-electing it, yeah.

    The instructions how to do that will be on the back.
    Make sure you don't miss the timeframes.

    Don't bother arguing with the council.
     
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    What TIm said :)
     

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