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Simple Ways to Avoid a Parking Fine

Posted on: February 4, 2014 by Platinum Direct

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The parking inspector. He’s there ‘inspecting’ your car. But you are 16 stories up in your little office cubicle powerless to stop what is about to happen. You glare at him.

Go away, you mutter under your breath, secretly hoping your telepathy powers have the strength to penetrate glass.

You watch as he swaggers around your car, little ticket machine in hand, striking the keys and placing the ticket under your car’s windscreen wiper.

Arrgh! You hate him so much. If only there was a way you could get out of paying the fine…

Perhaps there is. According to the NSW Treasury’s Office of State Revenue (OSR), there were 1,335,928 parking fines issued in the 2012/13 financial year, totaling a revenue record of $179,109,296. That said, many people choose to contest their parking fines and are often successful. Consumer website, CHOICE found 30 per cent of the 81,236 parking fine appeals received by the NSW OSR were successful, avoiding fines of $3.2 million.

ecard car

Let’s face it. Every time you park your car in a fine zone, you are playing cat and mouse with the parking inspector. If you feel you have been unjustly slapped with a parking fine, there are three things you can do: Pay the fine, appeal to the council or contest your case in court. All of which can be time consuming and expensive. But before you sigh and hand over your cash, ensure you double check all of the circumstances that lead to the fine. You may have a case to contest the fine if your fine involves one or more of the following ‘get out of jail’ clauses:

  • The registration number on the fine does not match the vehicle
  • The parking meter was faulty
  • You pave proof you paid for the parking
  • The parking signs were not visible or obstructed by trees
  • The road markings were not clearly visible
  • It was a medical emergency or your vehicle was broken down

That said, prevention is often the best policy and here are some sneaky tips on how you can avoid the attention of an inspector before he hits you with the fine:

  • Parking inspectors normally allow a ten minutes grace period above the designated parking time limit, so if you are running a late, you should still be able to top up your meter even if your time has expired.
  • here is an offence called ‘Returned Within One Hour” designed to stop sneaky drivers from moving their cars from bay to bay within a parking zone all day to avoid a fine. Most inspectors don’t really care if you do this, but if you come across a particularly narky inspector on a powertrip, you can avoid the ‘Returned Within One Hour’ offence by parking across a street intersection. Most parking zones don’t cross intersections.
  • Most inspectors are more lenient about booking people near emergency medical centres because they are easier for drivers to contest.
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