NSW Parking Fines - No Stopping Sign Installed After Car is Parked?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by MortonH, 22 May 2019.

  1. MortonH

    MortonH Member

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    I park on the street about 5 mins walk away from my apartment in Ryde, NSW. On Sunday, 12 May it was difficult to find a park in the normal spot so I parked in a different spot a couple of streets away. The spot was reasonably close to a corner but there was no sign to indicate it was a No Stopping Zone. I double checked this before leaving the car.

    As I tend not to drive during the week, I didn't return to the car until Saturday 18 May and discovered that a No Stopping sign had been installed and that I had two parking fines on the windscreen, $263 each or $526 in total.

    The offence was 'disobey no stopping sign'. I immediately moved the car then went back to take photos of where I had parked, including close-ups of the sign that clearly showed it was brand new and had recently been installed due to the fresh earth around its base. I went back home and lodged a review request for both fines.

    Today (21 May) I have received an email stating that the fines stand. Their response was:

    " 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.

    We acknowledge your comments indicating signs were erected while you were away, however, we are unable to cancel the penalty. The issuing authority notes the new signs were installed in-lieu of the old signage, the restrictions did not change and have been in place since 2011.

    No stopping zones are often in areas where it is unsafe for vehicles to stop or park, such as where
    they may cause a hazard to other vehicles or pedestrians. It is important to keep these areas clear
    to ensure the safety of road users."

    I am outraged by this decision. There was no sign when I parked the car. How can I be guilty of disobeying a sign that did not exist? Of course, I have no proof that the sign wasn't there at the time.

    I'm tempted to take this to court but I can barely afford to pay the fines so if I lost and had to pay costs on top it would make things worse. Would appreciate any feedback.
     
  2. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

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    Your situation is hard. First, if you don't have pictures when you parked and there were no signs, this will make it hard for you to dispute, as you may have parked when they took them down to prepare for the new ones. This is the first point.

    The second point is that there was in the news some time ago about parking near the intersection, you should not park in the distance of 20 meters from the intersection and 10meter is there are traffic lights (I think this is how it was but need to check). I think you will not be able to win this one. Sorry!
     
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  3. MortonH

    MortonH Member

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    Hi Adam,

    Yes, I was probably too close to the intersection but the offence on the ticket is disobey no stopping sign. I'm trying to find out when the old signs were taken down and when the new ones were installed, which presumably is in the Council's records. If I can prove there was no sign then I may be able to argue that I couldn't disobey it!
     
  4. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

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    Take it from me, you are fighting a losing battle, if by luck you get off on that, which I doubt (I will explain why), they will give you the infringement for parking close to the intersection, and you will pay the court fees too, so you will be out of pocket too.

    Even if you can manage to prove that they took off the sign, then that was for a period of time only, but you were parked for more than that period and nothing prevented you from checking back on your vehicle and seeing the new signs, see what I mean, it will be a long and costly battle. Also, to obtain the info from the council will be through the formal way, which is engaging a lawyer and that will be costly.

    Note I am not a lawyer, seek a lawyer and that should provide you with a better advice.
     
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  5. MortonH

    MortonH Member

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    Yeah, after sleeping on it I'm not inclined to challenge in court and make it worse.
     
  6. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    You would only have a case here if you can prove that the signs were installed after the infringements were issued. It doesn't matter that there were no signs when you parked the car, because the car was left unattended for several days.

    As the signs were installed during that unattended timeframe, the only thing that matters is that the signs were there at the time the infrigements were issued. So the only thing you can do is chase up when the signs were installed and check that against the date and time of the infringements. Short of that, I don't see any way around it. The fact that the signs weren't there when you actually parked the car is irrelevant, because that's not when the fines were issued.
     
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