Parking tickets are the pits.
Most of the time you find yourself pinged because you thought you would risk it and park in a “No Stopping” zone while you popped into the shops for 10 minutes. You did it. Admit it.
Other times, you may genuinely believe that you have parked legally, only to discover a dry retch-inducing yellow envelope sitting happily atop your windscreen wipers on your return.
Stay cool – this is not the time to freak out. This is the time to think smart.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice food or electricity for the rest of the month in order to pay off your fine. You just need to challenge it with your local council.
How To Challenge Your Parking Fine
1. Gather Evidence
Firstly, take your ticket. If the parking inspector is still loitering around, don’t admit to anything.
Then collect as much evidence as you can. Take pictures of the area where you have parked, including possible obstructions of parking signs like trees or poles which may have prevented you from seeing what Parking Zone you were in as well as pictures of the parking meter.
2. Challenge Quickly
In most cases you have 28 days to appeal but the faster you act, the better. You can do this by writing a letter to your local council appealing the fine.
3. Basis For Challenging
You can challenge your ticket on the basis that:
- There were obstructions, like a tree or other structure, which prevented you from seeing the time restriction parking sign
- The parking meter was faulty
- The council parking officer made an error when writing up your ticket (for example, the time, date, or car registration number are not accurately reflected in your penalty notice or you have been fined for the wrong offence)
- The parking bay markings were not clearly visible
- The sign was not there (for example, if you have been fined for stopping in a “No Stopping” zone and a “No Stopping” sign does not exist in that location
- You have a parking ticket which shows that you did not overstay in the parking space
- You had a medical emergency or your vehicle broke down.
4. Second Letter To Council Seeking Review
After you send your initial letter to the council, you should receive a response telling you whether your appeal has been successful or not. If you have been unsuccessful, you will need to write another letter to the council seeking a review.
This time, supply more evidence supporting your claims. You could include additional evidence that you may have held back from your first letter, such as photos of an obstructed sign, which will strengthen your claim.
In many cases on review, where your circumstances fall within one of the above categories above, you should get a favourable outcome and avoid having to pay those pesky fines.
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