If you’ve received a parking fine, you wouldn’t be the first to wonder whether it’s worth contesting. You may even be tempted to just pay the fine because contesting it is just not worth your while. But before you make this decision, you should be aware of whether there are any valid defences that apply to your situation and know the proper material to provide when lodging a complaint.
For example, let’s say you are driving in the evening on a weekend and a friend has asked you to drop them off on the side of the road. The side of the road has a continuous yellow line making. You couldn’t see the yellow line marking because it was dark and there was lots of traffic at the time. There were no signs indicating a vehicle was not permitted to stop at this particular point. You quickly pull over, stop the vehicle and drop off your friend. You receive a parking fine in the mail a few weeks later.
In this example, common defences might include that the fine wasn’t properly issued, you didn’t see the line marking, or that you had only stopped very briefly. These may fall on deaf ears.
What is not commonly known is that the Department of Transport have adopted a set of guidelines regarding how to regulate road traffic. It is called the Queensland Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD contains the design of, and the methods, standards and procedures in relation to every sign, signal, marking, light or device, installed on a road.
So back to our example, you might consider section 7.2 of the MUTCD which says that a continuous yellow marking would normally supplement signposting, except where it is considered the marking alone would provide clear, unambiguous advice of the prohibition to drivers at all times and it is located in an area where drivers would reasonably expect this type of parking control. Providing evidence in support of the fact that the marking did not give clear, unambiguous advice would assist in proving your defence.
Whether it is a parking fine or a larger commercial issue, at MBA Lawyers, we understand the need to be prepared and develop a clear strategy to maximise the prospects of achieving a positive outcome.
Written by Brendan Pitman, Lawyer at MBA Lawyers.