Receiving a parking fine is extremely common in Australia, with $180 million in NSW parking fines being issued in 2014-2015 alone. With the cost of fines rising each year, it is important to understand your fine and your options. Here are some recommendations for identifying, appealing and contesting wrongly issued fines.
Disclaimer; This article does not constitute legal advice. Please contact a lawyer if you need legal assistance.
Disputing an Infringement
Parking officers from different cities can choose from a wide variety of parking violations. The Sydney Morning Herald found that in NSW alone, you can be charged with 138 different types of parking penalties. The two most common violations are parking without a valid ticket and continued parking for longer than permitted. With a total of 263,390 infringements, ‘parking continuously for longer than permitted’ was ranked as the number one parking violation in NSW. ‘Disobeying a no stopping sign’ ranked the highest among the top five fines by dollar value of violations issued in 2014-2015, with a total of $31,440,882.
So, how can you contest or appeal your parking fine? If you believe that you did not commit an offense and you were wrongfully issued a ticket, you can file an application to dispute liability of an infringement.
There are different grounds for dispute that can be considered, but it is strongly suggested that you provide evidence to strengthen your claims. This could be a copy of the parking ticket, a photograph of your dashboard clock or parked car.
Here are some of the grounds for parking fine contestation and the corresponding evidences required:
- A meter or machine malfunction
- This must be backed up by the receipt number issued from the defective machine
- No or insufficient signs of violation
- Proven by photographs of the sign, your vehicle and any additional documentation
- Permission to Park (PTP) from Roads ACT or TAMS
- Provide proper documentation from the authorizing body
- Any service emergencies, including, but not limited to, excessive water or gas leaks, medical emergencies, and accidents
- This must be supported by photos or documentation
- Error exhibited in the infringement notice (e.g. mismatch of offense regulation code with its title)
- Properly shown in any photo of the parking ticket in question
- Incorrect registration
- This must be backed up by providing the registration number on the infringement notice as well as the appropriate documentation showing the correct vehicle registration number
Other possible grounds for appealing a parking fine may be considered, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support the claims.
Make that Appeal Now
Have you found the appropriate grounds to dispute your parking infringement? Do you think you have enough evidence to support your claims? Then make your appeal now. It is important that you respond quickly to your parking ticket. Make sure that you make your appeal before the payment due date comes. Every reminder sent to you leads to the accumulation of more penalty fees.
Several councils permit online filing for parking ticket appeals. We recommend you check your local council website for more information on how to complete this process.
When contesting your parking infringement, you must also be prepared to defend your case in court. You will be given the opportunity to present your case and support your appeal with your evidence. Once you convince the magistrate that you have been wrongfully or unfairly issued a parking ticket, your fine will be voided. It is important to note that if you lose the case, you will have to pay the fine as well as court costs.
Avoid Parking Fines
An alternative solution is to avoid the chance of receiving a parking fine in the first place. Rent your own parking space to remove the risk of incurring a parking infringement. Select your ideal parking space, all hassle-free! Investing in a parking space of your own can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Visit Spacer for long-term solutions or Parkhound for short-term options to find the perfect space for you!