As of today (31 January 2019), NSW motorists will have 10 minutes from the moment their paid parking ticket expires to get back to their car before they can be fined.The grace period applies to ticketed or couponed parking, which forms the majority of overstay parking offences. The ticket must be at least one hour in length for the grace period to kick in, and it doesn’t apply to private car parks or meters that don't issue tickets. It also doesn't apply to parking fines in bus lanes, clearways, transit lanes, mail zones or special event parking.
The measure is part of a package of reforms the NSW Government says are "designed to introduce a fairer approach to parking fines that will save motorists money".
“This is a common sense approach to parking penalties that doesn’t impact road safety. People shouldn’t have their day ruined or their weekly budget compromised for a slight delay in returning to their car when they’ve shown intent to do the right thing,” said Treasurer Dominic Perrottet.
“Stress levels on parking inspectors should also lessen, as they have an opportunity to show some leniency when issuing fines.”
The NRMA welcomes the grace period as sensible and expect it will make an important difference to motorists who try to do the right thing.
"We kept hearing stories of people who'd come rushing back to their car and they might be two or three minutes late and they've got a ticket or in the process of getting a ticket, and that's not what the system is about," said NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury.
We also welcome the state government's moves to reduce the cost of non-safety related parking fines, and urge more NSW councils to bring theirs in line.
We don't want people abusing the parking infrastructure available but we also want to make sure the system isn't just about revenue raising.
Last July, the NSW Government cut 25 per cent off the ten most common parking fines. That number was extended to a further 42 parking offences on January 1, 2019.
So far, 18 councils and five universities have opted in to start lowering their fines from $112 to $80, from 1 March 2019. There will be three further opt-in opportunities this year – in June, September and December.
For more details about the grace period and other parking reforms, please see: nsw.gov.au/nswfinesreview