The sneaky parking rule catching out Coast drivers
A SUNSHINE Coast tourist has warned locals to be wary of poorly-known parking rules after he was hit with a "stealth parking fine".
Philip Coates was visiting the Eumundi markets during a family holiday in Noosa when he was hit with a $91 fine for parking within 3m of a continuous white median strip line.
Mr Coates said he had parked in Crescent Rd, a suburban street, because the usual car parks were full.
"There were no signs to say parking was prohibited and no yellow lines advising that parking was prohibited in the area so we decided to park in," he said.
"When we returned to the car two hours later we had received a parking ticket for illegal parallel parking."
Mr Coates said he was 2.5m from the line.
"This law is intended to prevent vehicles blocking routes for both vehicles and pedestrians," he said.
"Our vehicle was doing neither. Numerous vehicles on the other side of the road had parked blocking pedestrian walkways and none had a ticket."
The ticket cited state traffic law in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management - Road Rules) Regulation, which in Section 208 part 6 declares, "If the road has a continuous dividing line or a dividing strip, the driver must position the vehicle at least 3m from the continuous dividing line or dividing strip, unless otherwise indicated by information on or with a parking control sign."
A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said it was important the 3m rule was followed, as it allowed traffic to freely pass through the street.
"Motorists in Queensland are required to know the road rules as a condition of their driver's licence and these rules include the parking of vehicles," the spokesman said.
"Council frequently deals with motorists who park within three metres, adversely affecting other motorists on the road."
He said the council was not required to install additional signage advising motorists of the rule.
"Line markings on roads are considered signage under the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices," he said.
"Council attends to market days in Eumundi in response to the increased vehicular traffic in the area and to ensure the turnover of traffic in support of the local business community."
Mr Coates, who is studying law from his home on the Gold Coast, intends to dispute the fine.
"Whilst I appreciate by the letter of the law this is enforceable, to have no have signs indicating, this shows the fact this is purely a money raising exercise by the council," he said.
"If you are trying to encourage visitors and then implementing incredibly harsh fines for people who are not creating any sort of obstacle or hindrance to local people you will drive away visitors."
He said the Sunshine Coast Council should make the rules clear by installing either signage or a yellow line on the side of the street rather than "trick people into paying a fine".
"I have never seen such a law enforced across anywhere in Queensland," he said.
"We drove around Eumundi after receiving the ticket and everywhere else had clear signs indicating the time allowed and where parking was permitted."