Disabled Parking Permits & the Law NSW

Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.

 

It was the absurd fine that almost gave pensioner Pat Jackson and her loyal husband Eric a heart attack.

Earlier this month, the couple received a fine from their Sydney City Council for parking in a disabled zone, right in front of their Alexandria home.

Indeed, Mr and Mrs Jackson are holders of a valid disabled permit for their car, however, somehow it was missed.

Now the pair believe the ticket must have been written before the permit checks were carried out.

The fine – a whopping $581 – would have set them back of their entire weekly pension.

“She nearly had another heart attack when she saw the fine,” Mr Jackson said of his wife’s shock upon seeing the fine.

He expressed disbelief that two elderly people were being picked on while many drivers without valid permits park their vehicles in the disabled spot and get away with it.

“$581, that’s disgraceful, no one should pay that – why is it up so high? They’re thieving from the poor people,” Mr Jackson said.

“You only have to walk up the street there now and see how many cars don’t have parking stickers, yet they pick on two pensioners – it’s unbelievable.”

Indeed, NSW statistics from recent years reveal that approximately 15,000 times each year, motorists illegally park in disabled spaces, many of whom are fined.

All the while, in 2018, over 300,000 people had valid disability permits, meaning those motorists who parked their vehicles unlawfully in disabled spaces were taking spots away from a substantial segment of the population.

Ultimately, against the drivers who selfishly park in disabled spaces without a valid permit, people in the hundreds of thousands who do hold a permit suffer, displacing them not just physically but also emotionally.

 

Sydney City Council Tell Elderly Couple Fine is Out of Their Hands

Ironically, it is understood Sydney City Council actually installed the disabled spot in Newton Street to help the elderly couple out.

Now, despite issuing the fine, Sydney City Council has informed Mr Jackson that the matter is out of their hands and he will need to simply hope Revenue New South Wales will have a heart to let them off – a kick in the stomach given life has rough the last few years.

Mr Jackson’s 89-year-old wife has had two heart attacks, endured breast cancer and even lung cancer.

The pensioners live humbly, admitting they don’t have a lot but are filled with joy by their small dog Harley.

Mr and Mrs Jackson’s story first appeared on television news show, A Current Affair.

In response, Revenue NSW provided a statement, which said that they could not comment on the specific incident “however we will proactively contact the customer to review their options”.

“Parking tickets may be issued if a disability parking permit has expired, is not clearly visible or is sun damaged, defaced or copied in any way.

“Customers can request a review of their fines if they believe the fine was issued in error, they have extenuating circumstances, or they are requesting leniency based on your driving history.”

A Current Affair contacted Revenue NSW over the unfair fine, and since then, it has been withdrawn.

 “While the official review is yet to be finalised, Revenue NSW has determined the person in question does have a valid parking permit and the fine will be withdrawn,” the updated statement from Revenue NSW read.

Disabled Parking Permits & the Law in NSW

In NSW, as set out in clause 203 of the Road Rules 2014, you can only park in a disabled spot if you hold and display a current parking permit for people with disabilities.

Moreover, you must comply with the conditions of use of the permit.

Otherwise, it is against the law to stop your vehicle that is a designated parking area for people with disabilities.

In NSW, the fines are illegally parking in disabled spots are weighty.

You can receive and on-the-spot fine or penalty notice of $581 and one demerit point.

However, if you choose to have the matter dealt with in a local court, the maximum penalty you can face is a fine of $2,200.

A parking area for people with disabilities is defined as a length or area of a road to which a permissive parking sign displaying a people with disabilities symbol applies, or to which a people with disabilities parking sign applies.

Questions on this topic? Get in touch with our experienced criminal lawyers Parramatta branch today!

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