NSW parking inspectors can now hand out demerit points
A handful of parking violations will attract 2 demerit points in addition to fines.
Parking inspectors will now be able to hand out demerit points to NSW motorists who park illegally, although the offence needs to be especially hazardous to public safety.
Motorists will now find themselves hit with two demerit points, along with their fines, for the following offences:
- Parking in a disabled area without a permit
- Leaving a stationary vehicle on or near a children's crossing, pedestrian crossing or bicycle crossing
- Parking in an intersection
- Parking within 10 metres of an intersection with no traffic lights
- Parking within 20 metres of an intersection with traffic lights
The fine for each of the above offences is $337, except for parking in a disabled area, which will cop a $561 fine.
This marks the first time anyone other than a police officer can issue demerit points in NSW. People on social media were not too happy about the development.
"You should only lose points for a moving violation. A parking fine, with money going to council, should never attract points," one person wrote.
"All this just to reduce the traffic on the streets! Why not just concentrate on building better roads and supply car parks!" said another.
Some have the opposite view and believe it will make people think twice about their dodgy parking practices: "Good. It will make regular reoffenders finally obey the road rules or risk losing their license."
The new laws have been on the books for the past few months, but until now, the inspectors could decide whether or not to apply the demerit points along with the fine. Now the demerit points are automatic.
In a related development, NSW motorists will soon have something to celebrate in regard to parking fines. From 31 January 2019, motorists will get a 10-minute grace period if they overstay their time limit.
It will only apply to parking spaces where a meter issues a physical ticket and only those motorists who have paid for at least an hour of parking will be eligible. The grace period also does not apply to spaces with parking control signs like bus lanes, no stopping zones and loading zones.
With fines, fees, charges and tolls everywhere you look, you want to do everything you can to reduce your expenses on the road. While car insurance won't save you from demerit points and parking fines, it can save you a lot of money on other major road expenses like smashing into someone else's car, cracking a windshield and having your car battered by hail.