For those that don’t want to have their days ruined with a ticket, paying attention to signage is very important. For those in Australia, paying attention to all that car signage in Sydney is ever more important if you don’t want your day, or your wallet ruined.
As it turns out, drivers in the Australian city pay far greater fines than those residing in the Big Apple itself, with over 138 different kinds of fines for offenses in the NSW region. The lowest is $108, for using a parking space longer than allowed, which is a pricey lesson to make, whilst the largest is $541 for parking in the parking spaces for the disabled without the appropriate paperwork. For comparison, NY drivers have to face fines at a minimum of US$35/$45.51, with the highest at US$180/$234.6 for similar infractions. As a result of such steep fines, there have been people wondering what it would mean for low income motorists just having bad days.
Motorists in major metropolises all over the globe, such as London, Toronto, Hong Kong, face lower parking fines than Sydney, with London drivers being compensated with a 50% discount if they pay their fines early.
Parking fines in the state of Victoria are also cheaper than that of Sydney, or the whole of New South Wales, with the lowest at $78, and the highest at $155. Somehow, though, Melbourne makes more money with parking fines, having raked in $41.57M from last year, than Sydney, which raked in $30.5M.
Australia’s National Roads and Motorists’ Association published a Park Strategy report last 2015, which showed that Sydney had, in fact, made so much money from parking fines, that it managed to make more than the profit of the local governments of Fairfield, Waverly, Woollahra, North Sydney and Marrickville combined.
However, it has been pointed out that, as of yet, there exists no law that requires the local government return revenue made off of parking fines into public roads. NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury states that this manifests partially in the car signage in Sydney, which he describes as a mess of multiple signs stacked on top of one another.
Another problem is how people can work around these high fines. Secretary Gerard Hayes, of the NSW branch of the Health Services Union, states that these fines aren’t just a bother to Australians on modest incomes, these fines can throw their finances and budgets off for months.