As part of our new Did You Know? series we’ll be outlining the road rules that many drivers may be ignoring or completely unaware of, starting with a look at paid parking meters and what it means for motorists.

We all know the feeling. You drive around the city streets for ages struggling for a spot and then you finally score a magical present of a free park. And by free park we mean an available park. One that you have to pay for in order to park your vehicle.

You park your vehicle, go about your business and then return to the ticketing machine after 2 hours to top it up, or better yet do so from the comfort of your phone app. You should be fine for the duration of your stay as long as you keep paying for it, right?

Wrong.

According to national road rule 205, drivers cannot continuously park longer than the specified time under any circumstance even if they continue paying for their spot. This means that you cannot insert more money into a parking meter or purchase another ticket to stay longer than the time permitted by the parking sign. So if you are parked in a 2 hour spot, you need to leave within that time frame or risk a pesky fine.

The rules also state that you can’t reverse your car in and out of the same of the spot and get away with it, nor can you simply move your car to another bay within the same signed area and then purchase another ticket. In busy cities like Melbourne and Sydney, the strict policy is about making parking accessible to as many users as possible, rather than simply collecting revenue.

“Demand for parking spaces in the City of Melbourne is extremely high, with more than one million parking transactions recorded every month,” the City of Melbourne council said.

“Parking restrictions are in operation to encourage a regular turnover of parking bays, giving residents, workers, businesses and visitors a reasonable chance of finding parking. These restrictions are regularly enforced to ensure the safe and fair use of on-street parking in the municipality.”

The road safety rules attest to this information as seen in the quote below:

Road Safety Rules 2009: Division 7 – Permissive parking signs and parking fees
Rule 205: Parking for longer than indicated (1) A driver must not park continuously on a length of road, or in an area, to which a permissive parking sign applies for longer than the period indicated by information on or with the sign or, if rule 206 applies to the driver, the period allowed under that rule’.

Penalty: penalty units may apply.

It is your responsibility to be parked for no longer than the time permitted by the parking sign. Many councils are strictly enforcing this Road Rule (205) so that other drivers have the best chance of finding an available space to park.

Keep an eye on your own vehicles and the vehicles that use paid parking within your fleet so that you can avoid getting fined.

 

For more info on Rule 205, have a look at the Road Safety Rules 2009 handbook here.

NEXT: Did You Know? The Do’s & Don’ts of Mobile Phones

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