The dos and don'ts of loading zones

loading zone

It is often the case that mid-week trips made by motorists to the city will be quick dashes in and out to pick up or drop off a passenger, attend appointments or to duck in and out for a business matter.

If you’re driving into the city, you want to find a place to park that’s convenient and close. When you can’t find a free spot which is convenient enough, why not jump into a loading zone: you’re going to be in and out in a flash anyway, so what’s the harm?

Well, after the issue of improper parking in loading zones was raised by NRMA Member Robert M, we decided to highlight the dos and don’ts of parking in these areas.

Loading zones are intended to be used by tradespeople, couriers and delivery drivers – not by everyday motorists. These clearly designated spaces are set aside for short-term use only by certain vehicles when loading or unloading goods.

Vehicles designed for carrying goods can park for up to 30 minutes while station wagons and three-wheeled bikes carrying goods can also stop for up to 15 minutes. Public buses are also allowed to drop off and pick up passengers whilst stopped at loading zones.

If you’re wondering why station wagons get a reprieve, a ‘station wagon’ is defined as having:

  • A sedan equivalent
  • A flat roof extending at the same height to the rear 
  • An entrance at the rear suitable for loading goods
  • Seats that can be folded or removed for more goods storage space
  • Substantial space for the carriage of goods in proportion to overall interior space

The majority of 4WD passenger vehicles, hatchbacks, coupes or sports vehicles are not permitted to park in loading zones. 

If parking in a ticketed loading zone, the driver needs to obtain a ticket from a nearby ticket machine and will not be charged for the allocated time (either 15 or 30 minutes).  

It is against the law to replace an expired ticket to extend time in the zone and if caught, the driver can incur a penalty of $110.

Under certain circumstances, other drivers may be permitted to stop in a loading zone such as dropping off or picking up passengers – but that’s it. The penalty for unauthorised parking in a loading zone is $183.

Are too many passenger vehicles parking in loading zones?

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