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Hefty parking fine for motorcycle ‘overhang’

Parking fine Motorcycle parking under siege park

Riders could cop a hefty parking fine if their motorcycle is parked with its wheels inside a parking bay, but the body of the bike, handlebars or luggage leaning over the line as in the above photo.

A Sydney rider found out the hard way when he copped a $263 fine for parking his scooter on Philip St, in Sydney’s CBD.

Personal trainer Stephen Lewis parked his red scooter with its wheels inside a crowded motorcycle-only parking zone.

However, some of the scooter body, top box and handlebars were centimetres out of the designated zone.

Parking fine
Stephen’s red scooter

He believed “it was ok” if his scooter’s wheels were within the parking bay.

“Fortunately I took a photo as this happened to me a few weeks earlier in the same spot, where someone dragged my bike out and put theirs in its place,” he says.

“I now take photos as a precaution when parking. It’s close, but I thought this would be ok. The parking fine is for $263 as it is classed as being in a no-stopping zone.”

Parking rules

Parking within the lines presents a problem for motorcycles and scooters.

You can park your bike with its wheels inside the white lines, but the body can be over the line when leaned over on its sidestand. (Note that Stephen’s  scooter was on its centrestand.)

We could not find any specific motorcycle reference to this in NSW parking rules.

Lance was fined for parking his Harley between two car parking bays flexible
This rider was fined for parking his Harley between two car parking bays

The only reference in the NSW Transport parking guidelines is to parallel-parked vehicles that “should be entirely within any marking lines”.

Specific motorcycle parking guidelines only mention that the motorcycle should “not stick out further than any parallel parked vehicle”.

We asked NSW Transport to point out the specific reference to motorcycles leaning out of the parking bay.

This is their reply:

Under Rule 211 of the Road Rules 2014, a driver who parks on a length of road, or in an area, that has parking bays (whether or not a park in bays only sign applies to the length of road or area) must position the driver’s vehicle completely within a single parking bay, unless the vehicle is too wide or long to fit completely within the bay.

Determining whether a vehicle is ‘completely within’ a parking bay or is in breach of this rule is a matter for an authorised officer. If a penalty notice is issued for this offence by a police officer, the fine is $80.

The best option is for riders to ensure that all parts of their vehicle are within the parking bay.

In other words, there is NO specific reference to motorcycles.

As for relying on the leniency of a parking office … don’t hold your breath!

Queensland rules actually mention motorcycles:

Section 211(2) of the Queensland Road Rules (QRR) states when using a parking bay, any driver, including motorcycle riders, must position their vehicle completely within a single parking bay, unless the vehicle is too wide or long to fit completely within the bay. The on-the-spot fine for a vehicle not parked properly is $52 from 1 July 2019. There can be a maximum penalty of $2611 ($2669 from July 1) if the matter is referred to court. Fines set by councils may differ.

We also notice that some motorcycle parking bays are not long enough for cruiser or tourer motorcycles as in the photo below.

Motorcycle and scooter riders urged to make a submission to the Brisbane City Council draft transport plan - parking BCC bicycles

Victoria’s rules allow some leniency here: “A rider must position the driver’s vehicle (motorcycle) completely within a single parking bay, unless the vehicle is too wide or long to fit completely within the bay.”

Parking fine upheld

Stephen challenged the parking fine asking for leniency because of the marginal overhang, but the Commissioner of Fines Administration upheld the fine.

The Commissioner says he consulted the Caution/Review Guidelines, legislation and information provided by the issuing authority in reaching the verdict.

“The photograph provided indicates the vehicle was partially parked in the no-stopping zone at 6.54am,” the Commissioner wrote to Stephen.

“Based on this information, we are unable to cancel the penalty.

“No-stopping zones are often in areas where it is unsafe for vehicles to stop or park, such as where they may cause a hazard to other vehicles or pedestrians.

“It is important to keep these areas clear to ensure the safety of road users.”

Stephen says the fine seems punitive for such a marginal transgression.

“I am absolutely fuming as this looks like a revenue-generating con,” he says.

  1. I think the council made the right call on this one, because you don’t want to be put in the position of judging how much of an overhang is then legal, 1mm, 5mm, 10mm etc.

  2. He’s in a “No Stopping” zone. He deserves the fine. “No Stopping” zones exist for a reason. I do a bit of bus-driving; vehicles in these zones cause huge problems, particularly for large vehicles, but also other traffic. I’d like to see more people fined for ignoring “No Stopping” and “No Standing” signs, as well as other signs such as “Stop”. The amount of the vehicle that is illegally parked is irrelevant. I have no sympathy for him or anyone else who ignores these signs.

  3. I always have the whole bike inside the line, but almonst every day, I come back to find a bike (read scooter) jammed up against my bike, with maybe only a left handlebar over the line. Ive no option but to drag it away so I dont tip it over when I straighten up. I applaude any Parking Officer who tickets these people. Also, looking at his parking, I get the feeling he’s last in that position and just jammed his scooter in there.

  4. I agree with the fine. So many scooter riders appear to be unaware of the road legislation and i have witnessed numerous times multiple scooters jammed into single parking bays or so close to the other bikes, you cant safely get on.
    The most I saw was 5 scooters in two bays in Adelaide near the Uni.

  5. Sorry, but not much sympathy from me here. Two things crossed my mind when seeing the second photo in this article. First, it would not surprise me if I got booked parking like that – really pushing the boundary of a legal park. Second, how is the next bike meant to get out without moving the bike out of the way?

    If there isn’t enough room to park, find somewhere else!

  6. You cannot read the road rules in isolation:

    You said:
    “In other words, there is NO specific reference to motorcycles.”

    Yes there is a reference, when reading rule 211, you must also read in rules 15, 16, 17, and in particular 19 which clearly states that references to Drivers also includes Riders (rule 17), and rule 15 which clearly states what a motor vehicle is. So 211 clearly does apply to motorbikes as they are motor vehicles, they are ridden by drivers by virtue of 17 including riders into the definition unless specifically excluded which they clearly are not.

    The fine is warranted under the road rules, unfortunate, over zealous, but well within the law as prescribed in 211, when read correctly.

  7. Hey Stephen,

    Have a cup of concrete and harden up son. You pushed the boundaries, now pay the piper.

  8. So in reading some of these responses, you would also have to agree with the following. If you park 3, 4 or 5 bikes in a standard car park place,( as a lot of riders do to save taking up parking places). Then you would agree, it is correct that all those riders should receive a ticket for being “double parked”.

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