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DOUBT has been cast over the validity of hundreds of fines given to motorists for parking in bike and bus lanes.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has told councils across the state to stop fining people for parking in bike and bus lanes during restricted hours after the police said the laws were not enforceable.
Some councils, including Prospect, have begun withdrawing unpaid fines and have been told by the LGA not to accept fine payments, which in Prospectâ€™s case is $170 plus a $60 victims of crime levy.
According to the LGA, the parking laws in question cannot be enforced because current signs restricting parking at specified times do not comply with the Australian Road Rules.
The LGAâ€™s acting chief executive Cate Atkinson last month advised councils via an email there was no ``legal obligationâ€ to refund fines.
``However, as a matter of discretion, councils may wish to give consideration to repaying the fee if requested to do so,â€ Ms Atkinson said.
In the email, she said ``all councils which (had) recently issued expiation notices in respect of this purported offence should formally withdraw the notices on request or decline to accept payment of the fee when presentedâ€.
Late last week, an LGA spokeswoman said councils had ``acted in good faith under state legislative requirements and would not be required to repay expiation notices issued prior to our advice that the provisions were flawedâ€.
The fines in question are only those handed out for parking in bike and bus lanes in operation during specified hours, not 24 hours a day.
Across the Prospect district alone, nearly 1200 fines were handed out to motorists who parked in bike lanes during specified hours in 2010.
Prospect Council environmental director Sam Green said his council had withdrawn 209 fines which had not yet been paid and had been holding off on fining people since being advised of the issue by the LGA.
Mr Green said the council was very concerned about cyclistsâ€™ safety.
``We are always under a lot of pressure, quite rightly, from cyclists to enforce the bicycle lanes to ensure cyclist safety,â€ Mr Green said.
``One vehicle parked in a bike lane compromises the safety of any cyclist who is using the bike lane.â€
Late last week the Transport Department said it made the LGA and police aware of the issue on December 13.
``No further expiation notices should have been issued after that date and any unpaid expiation notices should have been withdrawn,â€ a department spokeswoman said.
She said the department would close the ``loopholeâ€ by amending its regulations as soon as this week.
Walkerville Council said it had not fined any motorists for parking in bikes during restricted hours this financial year.
Adelaide City and Port Adelaide Enfield councils confirmed they had stopped fining motorists for the offences in question.
From the city north messenger 25 Jan 11 (AT) 08:30am by BRITTANY DUPREE
Last edited by tim on skin on Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
No Pain No Game Man
That explains the car dealers leaving their wares in the restricted-hours bike lane on Port Road. I was wondering how they were getting away with so blatantly blocking the bike lane with cars for sale.
I have started to notice a few cars in the bike lane in restricted hours. I am of the opinion that main should have restricted parking throughout the the day, 6am-8pm. Or something like that. It would make it easier for all road users.
btw I think you may struggle a bit to get to your 100,000km target this year Tim
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