Ten of the most common parking fines will be slashed by 25 per cent when issued by the NSW Government in the first step of a major overhaul.
A review into all fines, excluding those that may impact road safety, as well as an investigation into options for fixing confusing parking signs will also be undertaken.
A grace period for tardy motorists will also be investigated as part of a common-sense approach to parking to prevent people being stung in the hip pocket if they overstay a meter by just a short period.
This package forms a part of the 2018-19 State Budget, which the NSW Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Dominic Perrottet will hand down on 19 June.
Mr Perrottet said NSW’s parking fines were expensive compared to some interstate and overseas jurisdictions and said it was time for a rethink.
“It’s time to make the system simpler and fairer, that is why we will cut ten of the most common parking fines when issued by the NSW Government by 25 per cent and undertake a review into others,” Mr Perrottet said.
The initial 25 per cent reduction will be applied from 1 July 2018.
The NSW Government issues parking fines in areas such as Sydney Olympic Park, Centennial Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens and a range of other State Government land. NSW Police can also issue parking infringements.
At present the State Government sets parking fine levels, with the current minimum mandated amount for parking fines set at $110.
New legislation will be introduced to allow local governments and other authorities the flexibility to also charge lower amounts.
The majority of parking fines in NSW are issued by local councils, after the Labor government handed control to them more than a decade ago.
Mr Perrottet called on local government authorities to follow the Government’s lead.
“I would hope they do the right thing by residents, ratepayers and visitors and undertake a review of their own approach to parking fines,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Fines should be a deterrent to an offence, but they also should be fair, and not used as an easy option to build a bankroll for whatever project is flavour of the day.”
Mr Perrottet said road safety would not be compromised by the changes.
“Fines such as speeding, running a red light, not wearing a seat belt, stopping on a clearway or using a mobile phone when driving are naturally much higher and reflect the seriousness of the offence – they are not part of this review,” Mr Perrottet said.
The Government will invite the private sector to submit proposals on best practice parking signs from around the world with a view of balancing improving signs and importantly ensuring value for money for taxpayers.
The Government will also launch a website to seek feedback on parking fines and signs from the community. The survey will also allow drivers to upload pictures of confusing parking signs in their communities.
The website can be found at www.nswfinesreview.com.au
10 NSW Government issued parking fines which will be reduced by 25 per cent
Park continuously for longer than permitted
Park without current ticket displayed
Park after ticket expired
Stand vehicle in area longer than allowed
Stop in restricted parking area
Park after meter expired
Not stand vehicle in marked parking space
Remain in ticket-operated loading zone after ticket expired
Park without current loading zone ticket
Park without paying meter fee