NSW TO INTRODUCE SAVING GRACE FROM 31 JANUARY

Motorists will be given a 10-minute “saving grace” period from 31 January 2019, as part of a package of changes approved this week which are designed to introduce a fairer and more common sense approach to parking fines in NSW.

Councils across the State will also for the first time be provided flexibility to lower their most common parking fines from 1 March 2019.

This will reduce a typical level 2 parking fine from $112 to $80. Lower parking fines

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said he will write to every council in NSW to advise them of their ability to reduce their parking fines following recent changes to regulations which were first flagged in the June 2018-19 NSW Budget.

“We cut 10 of the most common parking fines issued by the State Government on 1 July by 25 per cent and councils and universities will now be able to choose to do the same,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Councils need to stop using parking fines as an excuse to get a sugar hit and look at ways they can save ratepayers’ money rather than hit them in the hip pocket.” Councils and universities who wish to reduce their fines at the earliest opportunity will need to opt in by 1 January 2019.

In recognition of the lead time for councils and potential impact on their budgets, four further opportunities will be provided to councils during 2019 to opt in. 60 minutes + paper ticket = 10 minute grace period.

The “60 minutes + paper ticket = 10 minute grace period” will only apply if a motorist has paid for at least one hour of parking, and only where a physical ticket or coupon has been issued.

Meters which do not issue parking tickets or coupons, such as pay and go multi bay or multi-space parking meters (where each car space has a number painted or letter on the ground an arrow pointing to the corresponding meter) are not eligible. The grace period rule change will also not apply to private car parks.

“You can call it a “saving grace” or an “amazing grace” but there is little doubt people who are a few minutes late getting back to their cars will be the big winners.” Mr Perrottet said.

“This is a common sense approach which means people won’t get a fine for being five minutes late, have their day ruined, and have the weekly budget compromised,”

“We are hopeful this will also reduce the stress and pressure on parking inspectors as it will give some leniency in the issuing of fines.” The grace period applies to ticketed and coupon parking which forms the majority of overstay paid parking offences.

To avoid impacts on safety and congestion, the grace period for motorists will not apply to prescribed parking control signs such as:

· bus lane sign
· transit lane
· no stopping sign
· a clearway sign
· a loading zone
· a bus zone sign
· a mail zone sign
· a special events parking sign