Ask LH: Is This Parking Fine Unfair?

Hey Lifehacker, I was recently parked on a driveway, making sure the footpath was clear and I was not on the road. However, I still ended up with a fine. According to Victorian parking regulations, I should only have received a fine if I was parked on a road or blocking the footpath. I am sure that the part of the driveway I was on is not a road. Should I appeal? Thanks, Hassled Driver

Parking ticket picture from Shutterstock

Dear HD,

Getting fined for parking in a driveway is one of the most infuriating things that can happen to a motorist; especially when your vehicle is only slightly intruding on the sidewalk. It was for good reason that it featured on our list of the most annoying traffic fines in existence.

Unfortunately, proving exactly where you parked your car can be a difficult undertaking. Even if you had the foresight to take a photo, it might not help your chances in court. You could have easily faked the evidence by re-parking your car immediately after receiving the fine, for instance. In other words, it’s basically your word against the cop or traffic warden.

That said, if you strongly feel that the fine was issued unfairly, you might as well contest it. In most cases the worst thing that can happen is that the original fine will be upheld and you will have wasted a day in court. At least you tried.

To dispute a parking fine in Victoria, the simplest option is to have the decision internally reviewed by the agency that issued it. To make things fairer, this will be carried out by a person not involved in the decision to issue you with the infringement notice. However, it’s not inconceivable that bias could still be a factor against you (i.e. — by reversing the decision, the organisation is admitting that they stuffed up, which could make them less likely to give you the benefit of the doubt). If you’re still keen to give it a shot, you can read up on the specific steps involved via the Victoria Government’s website.

You can also elect to explain yourself to a magistrate. This will involve appearing before local court at a specified date and time to defend yourself at a formal hearing. The magistrate can then decide to abolish or dismiss your case (meaning the fine still stands). They could also decide to impose a fine that is more than the infringement penalty, although this is incredibly rare. Click here to download a court application PDF.

If you decide to go down this road, be sure to bring any supporting evidence you can think of. Often the decision will come down to how benevolent the magistrate is feeling on a particular day, as well as any existing driving offenses you may have. An impeccable record will obviously work in your favour.

See also: The Most Infuriating Traffic Fines In Existence | Top 10 Parking Crimes Against Humanity | This Is What Happens When You Try To Pay A Parking Fine In Loose Change [Video] | Ask LH: Should I Appeal This Traffic Fine?


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