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I got caught - did you?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Siege, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. As I've said on many occasions, I am paranoid about travelling in New South Wales - especially by motorcycle.

    A couple of weekends ago I rode to Cowra for a bike show (just supporting a friend). While I was there I spent nearly $300 over the 2 days in accommodation, food etc. I enjoyed the weekend and, because it was NSW, rode within the limits everywhere I went.

    Then a bomb arrived yesterday. A fine for 'disobeying a no stopping sign' - $175!. Took me a while to work out it was a parking fine and it was for parking illegally on private property in Cowra township! Yes - private property!

    At the Mobil Service Station on the corner of the Young Hwy and the Grenfell Hwy, there is a diagonal yellow striped area in front of the shop part. Being on a bike, I parked there a couple of times on the weekend and spent maybe a minute of two in the shop actually asking for directions once and buying spark plugs the second time. This yellow area is classified as a 'no stopping area'

    I rang the man at the servo yesterday and he confirmed that the police and the council rangers sit across the road and just take number plates down, sending fines out later. He remarked that at least 100 bikes must have used that strip over the two days of the show. He said that area was supposedly their fire escape area and the fines were a work, health and safety issue. He said they couldn't do anything about it - and, in fact the cops had approached him the other day to re paint the area so it stood out more. There are no signs to say why you can't park there.

    Even though the servo say they can't do anything about it, I would have thought they would have warning signs up at least - good PR.

    This is a blatant revenue raising exercise, and something common in New South Wales.

    I will fight the fine of course, but probably won't have much luck. But I will say that the Mobile at Cowra has lost my business and the good council of Cowra will hear from me as will anyone else who will listen. And, of course, it will be a cold day in hell before I go there again. They can shove the Japanese Gardens.

    Be warned. It's going to happen more and more frequently in places you'd never suspect.
  2. This i'd fight until the bitter end. Tell them to take you to court. Was it a signed area?
  3. The problem with a parking fine etc is its you who is taking them to court. Most legislation requires signage.

    I work in Local Government enforcement and can have a look at the law for you if you like (for information purposes only :wink: ) Just let me know the law and where I can view it online.

  4. That's just insane. If it is an OH&S issue then there should be signs clearly visible, painted lines could mean anything. The fact that the council are aware of it, but will happily sit by and watch numerous breaches of Work Safety without intervening in any way is blatent revnue raising and I would have though illegal (should be thier responsibility to prevent it from happening not fining people for doing it). If you are fighting it (which is a good idea) might perhaps be worth having a word with the Gov. department in charge of Work Safety in NSW (I know that sort of thing wouldn't be tolerated in Victoria).
  5. Sorry to hear but you got no chance.

    Mate of mine works in designing parking areas for council and i shit you not that he was instructed to design it in such a way to trick parking motorists so that they can get fined.....believe it....or not!!
  6. does a council have the authority to fine people parked on private land?????
  7. The clear technicality is that you were charged for disobeying a sign, when there was no sign... it's worth a try.

    Fines are issued most often because they act as a deterrant. You could argue that a fine is not appropriate as you were not deliberately disobeying a law, or were informed of the legality of parking in that area. It doesn't sound like you live around there area either, so a fine would do little to reduce the chance of recividism. Keeping in mind that simply not knowing something was illegal is no excuse for breaking a law, any fine would be purely a punishment for a mistake rather than a deterrant. Some courts would be sympathetic, especially with evidence that enforcement officers do little to inform motorists of the need to keep the area clear, and in fact stand back in order to observe and write up offences.

    On the other hand, you could pay the fine and forget about it, might be cheaper - but on principle it's worth a fight.
  8. Just so I'm clear:

    there was not sign posts stating "no stopping"?
    It was not on the road?
    The fine is a council fine or a police fine?
  9. mate i saw the same thing on today tonight a while ago..
    the lady was fine cause she park in her drive way at her home...
    :shock: :shock:
    but i think it was qld... but i can be too sure
    either way they fought and won as its there house... :LOL:
    so i think you got a chance if its on private property...
  10. Kind of related but in a car instead of a bike. I once got a parking ticket in the car park of Westfield in Bondi Junction. It was a mental busy Saturday afternoon, and there were cars parked everywhere. So I parked my car at the end of a row of cars. Every row had a car parked at both ends of it, there was still plenty of room to pass, and it had never been a problem before. I come back to the car and I have a ticket for $75 for not being in a designated parking bay. Loads of people were at their cars with bits of paper in their hands, mouths wide open. I then had to pay for my parking on top of that! Traffic attendants actually walked around the private multi-story car park (that you have to pay to use) issuing tickets. The NSW government favours obsessive fundraising legislation over common sense, and it sickens my shite.
  11. Council can in certain circumstance enforce parking on private owned land. The land is in fact a public place ie petrol station but is owned by a company / individual. Agreements / laws can be enacted to enforce parking restrictions in public places. Usually parking restrictions are signed as such.

    There is little point going down the "But council should have not fined me because X, Y, Z heart rending argument." Legal loopholes are much better and if you find a decent one councils will usually drop the matter before court.

    Check out the legislation and find that hole!
  12. yeah,

    i woulda thought (going by the original description) that the land was clearly private property. If thats the case, surely the owner/occupier can ask you to move on, but they or the council cant fine you?

    but then again, i'm using logic here and councils seem to use some strange other sort of reasoning most of the time.
  13. Thing that confuses me is that if it is a genuine health and safety issue that the council is aware of then they have a legal obligation to report the issue to Worksafe (or whatever the NSW equivalent is called). Clearly the painted lines don't work so the servo needs a sign and if that doesn't work, some sort of barrier to physically prevent people parking there.
  14. The parking inspectors get called in by Bondi Westfield to clamp down on the illegal parking that happens there. They don't go in uninvited.

    Bondi Westfield can't fine anyone for parking illegally.

    The main reason the inspectors were brought in though was because of the number of people parking in the handicap spots. Just when they got there, they then fined all and sundry.
  15. As far as I can recall you can have all the paint in the world on the ground stating that it's a no stopping area but unless the area is fitted with signs that comply to some Australian Standard for road traffic then they cannot book you.

    All too silly if you ask me
  16. I suspect that the problem is that there is a statute somewhere that says it is illegal to park on that kind of painted area - and you're required to know that!
    They therefore would not have to put up any additional signage, and visitors get slammed.
    Doesn't sound like the property owner is sympathetic (why would he be? - it's more money into the town).

    If I can get on my soapbox for a minute - I tend to think there is a conflict of interest wherever an authority benefits from the issue of financial penalties. If the object is really to control a problem, then sure, maybe a fine is appropriate. But when the same authority reaps a benefit from it there is a clear motivation for them to subtly ENCOURAGE people to break that law. Leading to the kind of blatant abuse and misuse of power that Livingstonest just described :evil:
    I think the money for any fine should NEVER go to the issuing authority, but to a recognised third party, like (for example) legal aid.
  17. Now I remember an article I read in the SMH last week.

    In Sydney.

    Councils can't fine you for parking illegally via the mail, they have to stick the fine on your vehicle. Or if they do fine you via the mail, they have to take a picture of your vechile parked illegally and include it in the mail.

    I've always wondered about why I never got the fine in the mail when I saw a parking inspector writing me a ticket and I got on the bike and rode off before he gave it to me. I suspect that's why.
  18. The fine arrived in the mail - no photo evidence. With regard to signage in the area - I have no idea - I'm not a local there. I vaguely remember there being a striped area out the front.

    I rang Cowra council and was put through to the Ranger who explained that the driveway of the servo was considered part of the road network as it was easy public access, so could be legally signed.

    I have no idea who issued the ticket but suspect it was him as I would say Police tickets would have their organization on it. He was very nice and helpful - no doubt appalled that a member of the public was put on to him.

    I have a friend in Cowra who will take pics of the area for me. No doubt there will be 'No Stopping' signs in evidence - but in all honesty, would you expect them to be enforced, or legal, in a servo - supposedly private property?

    I've written to the fines enforcement agency asking for clarification of the legalities, pertinent act etc.
  19. Aren't driveways\parking lots etc. called public thoroughfares or somethign like that??? I remember in the McDonalds carpark I worked at when i was 14, a cop telling us off and saying he could fine us if he wanted to be a jerk, for stunting a workmates BMX on break without a helmet on
  20. yes they are.
    cause my brother & his mate got a fine from a cop for being drunk in the Tea Tree Plaza car park & pushing around each other in trolleys.