Riders could cop a hefty parking fine if their motorcycle is parked with its wheels inside a parking bay, but the body of the bike, handlebars or luggage leaning over the line as in the above photo.
A Sydney rider found out the hard way when he copped a $263 fine for parking his scooter on Philip St, in Sydney’s CBD.
Personal trainer Stephen Lewis’s red scooter’s wheels were inside a crowded motorcycle-only parking zone, but some of the scooter body, top box and handlebars were centimetres out of the designated zone.
He believed “it was ok” if his scooter’s wheels were within the parking bay.
“Fortunately I took a photo as this happened to me a few weeks earlier in the same spot, where someone dragged my bike out and put theirs in its place,” he says.
“I now take photos as a precaution when parking. It’s close, but I thought this would be ok. The parking fine is for $263 as it is classed as being in a no-stopping zone.”
Parking within the lines presents a problem for motorcycles and scooters.
You can park your bike with its wheels inside the white lines, but the body can be over the line when leaned over on its sidestand. (Note that Stephen’s scooter was on its centrestand.)
We could not find any specific motorcycle reference to this in NSW parking rules.
The only reference in the NSW Transport parking guidelines is to parallel-parked vehicles that “should be entirely within any marking lines”.
Specific motorcycle parking guidelines only mention that the motorcycle should “not stick out further than any parallel parked vehicle”.
We asked NSW Transport to point out the specific reference to motorcycles leaning out of the parking bay.
This is their reply:
Under Rule 211 of the Road Rules 2014, a driver who parks on a length of road, or in an area, that has parking bays (whether or not a park in bays only sign applies to the length of road or area) must position the driver’s vehicle completely within a single parking bay, unless the vehicle is too wide or long to fit completely within the bay.
Determining whether a vehicle is ‘completely within’ a parking bay or is in breach of this rule is a matter for an authorised officer. If a penalty notice is issued for this offence by a police officer, the fine is $80.
The best option is for riders to ensure that all parts of their vehicle are within the parking bay.
In other words, there is NO specific reference to motorcycles.
We checked rules in other states and councils and could also find no reference to motorcycles leaning outside the designated area.
Also, some motorcycle parking bays are not long enough for big motorcycles as in the photo below.
Parking fine upheld
Stephen challenged the parking fine asking for leniency because of the marginal overhang, but the Commissioner of Fines Administration upheld the fine.
The Commissioner says he consulted the Caution/Review Guidelines, legislation and information provided by the issuing authority in reaching the verdict.
“The photograph provided indicates the vehicle was partially parked in the no-stopping zone at 6.54am,” the Commissioner wrote to Stephen.
“Based on this information, we are unable to cancel the penalty.
“No-stopping zones are often in areas where it is unsafe for vehicles to stop or park, such as where they may cause a hazard to other vehicles or pedestrians.
“It is important to keep these areas clear to ensure the safety of road users.”
Stephen says the fine seems punitive for such a marginal transgression.
“I am absolutely fuming as this looks like a revenue-generating con,” he says.