We’ve all heard stories of parking fine triumph, and the familiar refrain of “write a letter”; but it’s never worked out for me.
It turns out I’ve been doing it all wrong.
Parking guru Daniel Battaglia has collated a long list of ways to avoid adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of fines issued in Australia each year.
There’s nothing more frustrating than returning to find that telltale orange envelope on your car — an experience that NSW residents know only too well, with the state’s drivers leading the nation as revenue-raising cash cows.
In the 2014-15 financial year, they were slugged a whopping $180 million, thanks to the state’s policy of imposing fines as much as three to four times more expensive than in Victoria.
It’s no wonder so many drivers are seeking ways to get out of coughing up the cash.
Mr Battaglia, who runs an Airbnb-style website for vacant driveways and car spaces, says drivers have used a long list of excuses to appeal, contest and dispute infringement notices, ranging from illness, officer error, faulty meters and stolen numberplates.
“Even when drivers admit fault, the fines in some cases are withdrawn based on exceptional circumstances, which include mechanical breakdown and medical emergency,” he said.
In what he describes as a “cheeky tip” straight from the mouth of a parking officer, Mr Battaglia cites one of the more daring methods: “If you get a parking fine, go to the next car with a valid ticket on the dashboard, take a photo and send that in with the online appeal. It actually works and it’s a win against the greedy councils revenue raising tactics.”
He added the disclaimer: “Not so sure about the legality, but it’s just a bit of fun”.
(Editor’s note: defrauding the local council or state debt recovery office is not recommended.)
Other legitimate grounds for appeal include cases where the car was, in fact, parked legally; or if when the wrong registration details are printed on the ticket.
Mr Battaglia, who in 2012 got into a stoush with a Perth mayor for allegedly trashing the city’s verges, warns that the methods listed on ParkingMadeEasy.com.au are not meant to be taken as legal advice.
“Gather as much evidence as you can in your defence and include it with your parking fine appeal letter,” Mr Battaglia said.
“Also, be sure to act quickly before the payment due date, as every reminder sent to you typically incurs further penalty fees.”
Or you could just rent car space and never see another one of those infuriating slips of paper again.
BEFORE YOU PAY THAT FINE, CHECK:
■ Does the offence regulation code match its title?
■ Do the make and registration number match your vehicle?
■ Are the parking signs visible from you were parked, or were they covered by a tree?
■ Are the bay markings on the road clear and visible?
■ Are there signs or markings for the offence you were booked for (such as a “no stopping” sign)?
■ Was the parking meter faulty? Was there a number on the meter or sign nearby with a number you could call to report the faulty meter?
■ Do you have your original tickets to show you did not stay too long in the space or that you did pay to park?
■ Do you have evidence or witnesses to verify that a medical emergency, accident or breakdown caused you to commit the parking offence?
How can Sydney Traffic Lawyers help?
|Our traffic lawyers will carefully consider your case, advise you on all your legal options, and recommend the best way forward. Call us now on 02 8059 7121 or 24/7 on 0420 998 650 to speak with one of our traffic lawyers.|