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Parking tickets for obstructing traffic and pedestrians in Canberra?

By 23 May 2012 36

Morning,

I received a parking ticket yesterday and was wondering if anyone can enlighten me on some of the laws around giving out parking tickets.  I had parked in a residential street in Woden, no parking signs were around nor any red paint on the square gutter. As far as I could tell it was a legal parking spot. The infringement notice suggested that I had been obstructing traffic and pedestrians. Now I don’t see this as being the case. Where my vehicle was parked was on a particularly wide piece of one way street where my 2 metre wide vehicle was well off to the side of the at least 4-5 metre wide street. There was more than ample room for even an ACTION bus to have passed if necessary though I doubt it would have needed to unless extremely lost.  

I’m just wondering if there are actual laws around the particulars of my infringement or is it up to the inspector’s judegement and particular mood at the time of the day as to whether or not I have actually illegally parked. 

Thanks

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36 Responses to Parking tickets for obstructing traffic and pedestrians in Canberra?
#1
ajd10:47 am, 23 May 12

Would you be able to scan the relevant parts so we can see exactly what was said?

#2
buzz81910:51 am, 23 May 12

I have no idea… I thought it might have been for parking too close to a corner, driveway or pedestrian crossing here is the section in the road rules;

by contravening 208 (8) park so as to obstruct vehicles/pedestrians 20 81

208 Parallel parking on a road (except in a median strip
parking area)
(1) A driver who parks on a road (except in a median strip
parking area) must position the driver’s vehicle in
accordance with subrules (2) to (8).
Offence provision.
Note Driver’s vehicle and median strip parking area are defined in the
dictionary.
(2) The driver must position the vehicle to face:
(a) in the direction of travel of vehicles in the marked lane
or line of traffic on, or next to, the part of the road
where the driver parks; or
(b) if there is no traffic on, or next to, that part of the road
— in the direction in which vehicles could lawfully
travel on that part of the road.
Note Marked lane is defined in the dictionary.
(3) If the road is a two-way road, the driver must position the
vehicle parallel, and as near as practicable, to the far left
side of the road.
Note Two-way road is defined in the dictionary.
(4) If the road is a one-way road, the driver must position the
vehicle parallel, and as near as practicable, to the far left or
far right side of the road, unless otherwise indicated by
information on or with a parking control sign.
Note One-way road, parking control sign and with are defined in the
dictionary.
(5) If the driver does not park in a parking bay, the driver must
position the vehicle at least 1 metre from the closest point of
any vehicle in front of it and any vehicle behind it.
Note Parking bay is defined in the dictionary.
(6) If the road has a continuous dividing line or a dividing strip,
the driver must position the vehicle at least 3 metres from
the continuous dividing line or dividing strip, unless
otherwise indicated by information on or with a parking
control sign.
Note Dividing line and dividing strip are defined in the dictionary.
(7) If the road does not have a continuous dividing line or a
dividing strip, the driver must position the vehicle so there is
at least 3 metres of the road alongside the vehicle that is
clear for other vehicles to pass, unless otherwise indicated
by information on or with a parking control sign.
(8) The driver must position the vehicle so the vehicle does not
unreasonably obstruct the path of other vehicles or
pedestrians.
(9) This rule does not apply to:
(a) a driver if the driver parks on a length of road, or in an
area, to which a parking control sign or road marking
applies, and information on or with the sign or road
marking includes the words ‘angle parking’ or ‘angle’;
or
(b) the rider of a motor bike if the rider parks the motor
bike on a length of road, or in an area, to which a
permissive parking sign applies and the sign indicates
that the length of road or area is for parking motor
bikes.
Note 1 Motor bike and road marking are defined in the dictionary.
Note 2 Division 9 deals with angle parking.
(10) Subrules (3) and (4) do not apply to the rider of a motor bike
if the rider positions the motor bike so at least 1 wheel is as
near as practicable to the far left or far right side of the road.
(11) If a road has one or more service roads, the part of the road
used by the main body of moving vehicles, and each service
road, is taken to be a separate road for this rule.
Note Part of the road used by the main body of moving vehicles and
service road are defined in the dictionary.
(12) In this rule:
continuous dividing line means:
(a) a single continuous dividing line only; or
(b) a single continuous dividing line to the left or right of a
broken dividing line; or
(c) 2 parallel continuous dividing lines.
road does not include a road-related area, but includes any
shoulder of the road.

#3
buzz81910:55 am, 23 May 12

So after looking at that, and the fines and offences that surround that section here;

http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/sl/2005-11/current/pdf/2005-11.pdf

I am none the wiser as to how you obstructed cars or pedestrians, it could very well be that that is the ticket given for the offence of 308(7) if the road was only 4 meters wide, with your 2 meter wide car, you did no leave the required 3 meters of space, in saying that, I have never seen a parking inspector with a measuring tape, but would not be surprised if they had one?

#4
BicycleCanberra10:57 am, 23 May 12

Its a bit difficult to know without a picture or location. residential streets close to Woden usually have restricted parking signs to stop people parking there and walking to Woden.

#5
shirty_bear11:01 am, 23 May 12

A particularly wide one way residential street in Woden? Where is that?

And “well off to the side”? How far from the gutter are we talking?

#6
Mattenagger11:48 am, 23 May 12

I can’t scan the ticket right now as I don’t have it handy.

Having read through the laws posted by buzz819 I think what they’re pinging me for is the service road section. The street where I was parked was Mower Pl which has a service road for construction workers to enter the construction site. It is not the main construction site entrance for heavy vehicles etc just a dirt path. But having read that section from buzz819 I assume that if I challenge the ticket they’ll suggest I was obstructing the service road. I don’t actually think I was obstructing that either but that will be the reasoning I’m assuming.

#7
p111:48 am, 23 May 12

I hope you took a photo of the car before moving it? If so, send it in so we can all see.

I’d say there is either something you are overlooking that you were doing in contravention of the rules (in which case they should be able to tell you what that is when you dispute it, or this results from some dubious, narrow interpretation of the rules (which they can tell you when you dispute it).

Either way, you probably won’t be able to find out why specifically the ticket was issued without disputing it.

#8
aceofspades11:57 am, 23 May 12

p1 said :

I hope you took a photo of the car before moving it? If so, send it in so we can all see.

I’d say there is either something you are overlooking that you were doing in contravention of the rules (in which case they should be able to tell you what that is when you dispute it, or this results from some dubious, narrow interpretation of the rules (which they can tell you when you dispute it).

Either way, you probably won’t be able to find out why specifically the ticket was issued without disputing it.

In other words; “you are guilty until you go to an enormous amount of trouble and expense proving that you are innocent”.

#9
shirty_bear11:58 am, 23 May 12

It seems (from google maps) that the only one-way section of Mower Pl is on a roundabout. Please tell us you weren’t parked on a roundabout.
(will concede that it may look less roundabout-like from ground level than it does from an aerial photo)

#10
54-1111:59 am, 23 May 12

were you in a 4WD or tradies vehicle? If so, you are probably just another one who parks where and how they like without any thought for other people.

I am usually a pedestrian, and circumventing tradies utes around the myriad building sitesn gives me the sh!ts.

#11
Mattenagger12:01 pm, 23 May 12

I would have taken a picture had I had more understanding of the reason for the ticket. As far as I could tell I was parked against the curb and there were no parking signs to be seen.

#12
p112:01 pm, 23 May 12

Mower Pl on Google….

So was the one way part on one of the roundabouts? ‘Cause that probably breaks some rule about parking on a roundabout? Or has the road extended since this photo was taken?

#13
p112:04 pm, 23 May 12

aceofspades said :

In other words; “you are guilty until you go to an enormous amount of trouble and expense proving that you are innocent”.

That is how most of our cities enforcement of minor infringements to the rules works.

#14
p112:06 pm, 23 May 12

Nearmap shows several cars parked on the roundabout like bits of road a couple of weeks ago. My guess is this is what the parking inpectors were booking people (including you) for.

I guess the question is, are they legally roundabouts, or are they just roads that go in a circle?

#15
Sandman12:23 pm, 23 May 12

Maps show it as 2 way there so I assume it’s been changed to one way due to whatever construction work is going on, no doubt to allow easier access for large trucks/cranes.
Given its proximity to Woden and obvious lack of parking meters then it’s probably safe to say the construction site has requested a regular presence of the inspectors to try and avoid situations where they are risking doing damage to vehicles while trying to manoeuvre heavy machinery. Just because there was no truck in that dirt path at the time you went by doesn’t mean there never is.

I’d just suck it up as a parking expense and be thankful you didn’t have an insurance excess to pay instead. Just because there’s no sign it doesn’t automatically make it legal. Self judgement erring on the side of the caution is the best way to avoid these situations.

#16
buzz81912:25 pm, 23 May 12

aceofspades said :

p1 said :

I hope you took a photo of the car before moving it? If so, send it in so we can all see.

I’d say there is either something you are overlooking that you were doing in contravention of the rules (in which case they should be able to tell you what that is when you dispute it, or this results from some dubious, narrow interpretation of the rules (which they can tell you when you dispute it).

Either way, you probably won’t be able to find out why specifically the ticket was issued without disputing it.

In other words; “you are guilty until you go to an enormous amount of trouble and expense proving that you are innocent”.

There is still a presumption of innocence, there are avenues of dispute on the back of the ticket. You can put in an FOI request for the ticket, they will send you the photo of the infringement as well.

#17
knuckles12:34 pm, 23 May 12

aceofspades said :

In other words; “you are guilty until you go to an enormous amount of trouble and expense proving that you are innocent”.

Welcome to our legal system

#18
buzz81912:42 pm, 23 May 12

Were you parked on the roundabout by chance?

#19
dvaey12:54 pm, 23 May 12

aceofspades said :

p1 said :

Either way, you probably won’t be able to find out why specifically the ticket was issued without disputing it.

In other words; “you are guilty until you go to an enormous amount of trouble and expense proving that you are innocent”.

I was given a parking infringement last year, which I was able to dispute by email. The whole process took less than 48hrs from the time I receive the ticket until the time I received the withdrawl.

#20
TheDancingDjinn1:06 pm, 23 May 12

that road does not look wide enough for you to park and for people to move past safely. People shouldn’t have to drive into oncoming traffic just because you cant find a driveway.

Same thing happens on Hartley St in Turner – and there is a sign there saying no parking on the side of the road, but does it stop lazy morons from doing it – no – i still have to drive into oncoming traffic who i can’t see and who can’t see me. Every home/apartment block here is built with a driveway or parking spaces available, use them.

#21
Mattenagger1:14 pm, 23 May 12

It’s not a round-a-bout any longer it is a one way road that goes in a cirlce. Bootle Pl in the same area is the same setup as I’ve also parked there. No-one parked in that circle road had received a ticket yesterday as I decided to check. The service road as I mentioned is not used by any construction traffic at all. There is a main entrance that is on Easty Street where all construction traffic can enter the construction site. The service road is simply used by workers to park on the site. They were not obstructed in anyway.

#22
Watson1:24 pm, 23 May 12

TheDancingDjinn said :

that road does not look wide enough for you to park and for people to move past safely. People shouldn’t have to drive into oncoming traffic just because you cant find a driveway.

Same thing happens on Hartley St in Turner – and there is a sign there saying no parking on the side of the road, but does it stop lazy morons from doing it – no – i still have to drive into oncoming traffic who i can’t see and who can’t see me. Every home/apartment block here is built with a driveway or parking spaces available, use them.

If there is a sign it is obvious that you cannot park there and you shouldn’t – or at least not complain about getting a ticket for it.

But most streets do not have those signs and there are plenty of cars parked in even some of the narrower residential streets all over Canberra all the time. If it’s not a busy road, what’s the big deal about moving round the car. (As long as you follow the proper give way etiquette to avoid me glaring at you!)

I don’t interpret blocking one side of a street when there is enough space to go round as obstructing traffic.

Are you sure you weren’t parked in front of a footpath or a ramp?

#23
bd841:34 pm, 23 May 12

Speculation is useless.. The parking inspector would have photographed you vehicle when issuing the ticket, ask to review it and for an explanation. If your then feel like it was undeserved, request for it to be withdrawn. Posting a “why did I get a parking ticket?” on here is useless without actually seeing where it was parked and other details.

#24
dungfungus4:09 pm, 23 May 12

bd84 said :

Speculation is useless.. The parking inspector would have photographed you vehicle when issuing the ticket, ask to review it and for an explanation. If your then feel like it was undeserved, request for it to be withdrawn. Posting a “why did I get a parking ticket?” on here is useless without actually seeing where it was parked and other details.

Were you parked on the left hand side of the road with the car pointing in the wrong direction?

#25
m_ratt4:15 pm, 23 May 12

Don’t know where on that street you were parked, or what has changed since StreetView went through, but this sign (and its pair on the other side of the road may have something to do with it).

http://g.co/maps/kahkk

If the signs are no longer there, then maybe the inspector hasn’t realised yet.

#26
JC5:19 pm, 23 May 12

aceofspades said :

In other words; “you are guilty until you go to an enormous amount of trouble and expense proving that you are innocent”.

That’s not how it works. You are innocent until you pay the fine, thus admitting guilt, or you elect to take the matter to court. Don’t know of any other way to do it really.

#27
screaming banshee6:40 pm, 23 May 12

Executive Summary:

You parked in front of a driveway (service road) ON A ROUNDABOUT.

If it was a circular road as you say, surely it would have been a two way circular road.

#28
shirty_bear12:13 pm, 24 May 12

screaming banshee said :

Executive Summary:

You parked in front of a driveway (service road) ON A ROUNDABOUT.

If it was a circular road as you say, surely it would have been a two way circular road.

Yep … one-way tiny-diameter circular road to nowhere, my eye. It’s a roundabout. Not the only one in Canberra, as it happens. Without even referring to law, it’s clearly a poor idea to park on a roundabot. Pay the damn fine.

#29
Sgt.Bungers3:18 pm, 24 May 12

If you’ve:
- Parked your vehicle with any of it on a footpath.
- Parked your vehicle blocking a foot path access ramp.
- Parked your vehicle so that there’s less than 3 metres space between it and a solid centre line
- Parked your vehicle so that there’s less than 3 metres space between it an the other side of the road (in the case where there’s no solid centre line)
- Parked with any part of your vehicle blocking any part of a driveway.
- Parked in a manner that unreasonably obstructs others… (such as parking in the middle of the circles at either end of Mower Place)

Then you deserve the ticket.

The offence you’ve been charged with is very generic. A friend of mine was charged with this offence for parking on the side of the road in a perfectly legal manner in Canberra’s CBD. I helped them write a letter with photos of the location in which the vehicle was parked, explained why the driver of the vehicle had not been obstructing motor vehicle or pedestrian traffic and was in full compliance of Australian Road Rules. He was let of completely.

A few weeks later, No Stopping signs were put up at the same spot, making it illegal to park there from that point.

Go back and get some pictures of where you were honestly parked, load them up and we’ll be able to give you more accurate advice.

#30
Afurotsu6:50 pm, 24 May 12

To whom it may concern,

I dispute the liability of Infringement Number XXXXXXXX (Rego Number XXXXXXXX).

The offence description is “Code 351 Park so as to obstruct vehicles/pedestrians”. This is in the context of the Australian Road Rules, specifically 208 (8), “The driver must position the vehicle so the vehicle does not unreasonably obstruct the path of other vehicles or pedestrians”.

I do not believe that I positioned the vehicle in a manner that had unreasonably obstructed the path of other vehicles or pedestrians, for the following reasons:

I had positioned the vehicle to face in the direction of travel of vehicles.
I had positioned the vehicle as near as practicable to the far left side of the road.
I had positioned the vehicle no closer than one metre from the closest point of any other vehicle.
I had positioned the vehicle so as to leave greater than three metres alongside the vehicle for other vehicles to pass.

In addition:

I did not park contrary to the no parking sign in the proximity of the positioned vehicle. See the attached digital photograph.
Please withdraw the fine. Please notify me of any updates concerning this matter.

If you require further information, do not hesitate to contact me by any means listed below.

Thanks for your understanding,
XXXXXXXX.

E-mail: XXXXXXXXX
Phone: XXXXXXXX
Post: XXXXXXXX

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