NSW Ticket Parking: potentially massive number of invalid fines

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peterkins

Member
24 June 2018
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Hi All,

I have what seemed to be a straightforward issue. Inner West Council, and many others, have ticket parking areas that also have a 15 or 30 minute free period, after which paid parking is required.

The relevant legislation is 207-3

I was issued a fine for 207-3(1) "Park without current ticket displayed".
A driver must not park in a ticket parking area unless a current parking ticket is displayed

HOWEVER, subrule 6 of the same 207-3 rule is:


(6) A driver who parks in a ticket parking area does not contravene this rule if:
..
(b) the driver parks for a period not exceeding the period (if any) for which no fee is payable for parking in the area
...
I was only parked for 5-10 minutes, definitely not exceeding the no-fee period, but I failed to obtain the "free ticket" from the machine in time.

So am I missing something here? The ticket machines do say that "free ticket must be obtained", but there seems to be no legislation to support this; indeed the subrule 207-3(6) unambiguously states that the rule is not contravened.

I requested a review from Revenue NSW, pointing out the above information. But they rejected it, ignoring the legislation I pointed out:
To use the free parking time at the location where the offence occurred, you must obtain a ticket from the machine using the free parking button. These machines dispense tickets free of charge and their purpose is to identify the length of time the vehicle has been parked in the zone. A ticket must be obtained and clearly displayed in the vehicle.
I suspect that Revenue NSW will have issued tens of thousands of such fines, but I just can't see how they are legal; can they just add new conditions on the machines and signs, or does the subrule 207-3(6) apply here?

Thanks for any advice or experience....
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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Rob Legat - SBPL

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Odds are there is some provision somewhere that covers the situation.
 

Nonfiction

Well-Known Member
17 May 2018
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Victoria
As I understand/read it, 207-3(6)(b) relates only to an exception (from receiving a fine) if the driver does not park in the bay for longer than the “free parking” period allows...i.e. it says nothing about there being any exemptions to actually having to display a valid ticket, if signage states...whether it be a free parking ticket or a paid one?

207-3(1) indicates a ticket must be displayed, 207-3(3) provides a “grace” period before a ticket needs to be displayed, 207-3(6) ensures a fine is not issued erroneously (if a vehicle is not parked for a period exceeding that of any “grace period” per the signage (if any).

Having said that...here’s a couple of interesting news article...

Parking Fine Error
Parking Fines are about to get cheaper for NSW drivers
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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@Nonfiction : Not quite. 207-3 is a parking 'rule'. 207-3(1) states you can't park unless a current parking ticket is displayed. 207-3(6) provides:

"A driver who parks in a ticket parking area does not contravene this rule if: ... (b) the driver parks for a period not exceeding the period (if any) for which no fee is payable for parking in the area..."

The rule is about the requirement to display a parking ticket. Subsection (6) says that the rule is not contravened in certain cases. Therefore it is an exemption from having to display a parking ticket.
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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@Clancy : Probably. But how many times do they just plain get it wrong? Part of the reason why 'minor' errors on tickets don't invalidate them.
 

peterkins

Member
24 June 2018
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Thanks all. In my opinion, 207-3(6)(b) is clear that parking less than the free period "does not contravene this rule". Which means the whole 207-3 rule, so subrule 207-3(1) can't apply.

My only option now is to take it to court, which I am very tempted to do. But a judgement on this would invalidate hundreds of thousands in fines, so I suspect Revenue would fight it hard. A class action, perhaps?
 

Nonfiction

Well-Known Member
17 May 2018
111
12
414
Victoria
@Nonfiction : Not quite. 207-3 is a parking 'rule'. 207-3(1) states you can't park unless a current parking ticket is displayed. 207-3(6) provides:

"A driver who parks in a ticket parking area does not contravene this rule if: ... (b) the driver parks for a period not exceeding the period (if any) for which no fee is payable for parking in the area..."

The rule is about the requirement to display a parking ticket. Subsection (6) says that the rule is not contravened in certain cases. Therefore it is an exemption from having to display a parking ticket.
I understand what you are saying but the rule says not exceeding (“if any”) ...”any” can easily be open to interpretation...if signage states otherwise and is clear.

My only option now is to take it to court, which I am very tempted to do. But a judgement on this would invalidate hundreds of thousands in fines, so I suspect Revenue would fight it hard. A class action, perhaps?
On principle I would say go for it...but could end up costing you more than the fine itself