Local Parking Panels To Save Motorists Time And Money
September 23, 2015
Sydney motorists could save time and money under a NSW Labor proposal to establish locally-convened panels to review parking fines.
Rather than go through a drawn out, bureaucratic process, motorists slapped with a parking fine would be able to appeal their fines directly to local panels made up of community members and council staff.
Under the proposal, councils and NSW Government agencies collecting more than $1 million in fine revenue annually would be required to establish the panels – which could cut appeal times by as much as a third.
According to the NRMA’s 2015 Parking Strategy, 41 local councils across Greater Sydney collected more than $143 million in fine revenue from motorists in 2013/14 – up $11 million since 2011/12.
Less than 4 per cent of fines are scrapped on appeal by the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO), with the current appeals process taking up to four weeks and ignoring personal circumstances or local traffic issues.
Parramatta Council already convenes a local panel which has the power to exercise discretion based on in-depth knowledge of local parking conditions.
Under their system, up to a third of parking fines that are reviewed are eventually scrapped, and appeal times are 10 days shorter than the current system.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads Jodi McKay
“This is a common sense proposal designed to cut red tape and restore motorists’ confidence in the system.”
“For many people, requesting the SDRO review a parking fine can be a stressful and drawn-out experience, which often doesn’t consider local parking conditions or extenuating personal circumstances.”
“Motorists deserve a fair hearing on parking fines, and they also deserve to have confidence that the system isn’t treating them like revenue raisers.”
“If councils issue the tickets, and ultimately collect the revenue, then councils should give motorists a fair hearing through their local knowledge. It’s just common sense.”