Parking inspectors get the power to hand out demerit points
IT'S never a great feeling when you get back to your car to find you have been hit with a parking ticket and now some drivers have more than just a fine to worry about.
Under new laws, Sydney parking inspectors will be able to hand out demerit points as well as fines to drivers who park illegally.
The new rules see inspectors able to tack on a maximum of two demerit points on top of a fine for a range of different parking offences.
Leaving a stationary vehicle on or near a children's crossing, pedestrian crossing, marked foot crossing or bicycle crossing could cost you $337 and two demerit points.
The penalty is the same for drivers who park in an intersection, within 10 metres of an intersection with no traffic lights or within 20 metres of an intersection with traffic lights.
Parking in a disabled parking area without a permit already comes with a $561 fine and now you can also get one demerit point as well.
Leaving your vehicle on or near a level crossing will also result in a demerit point and a $337 fine.
The announcement hasn't gone down well, with many people taking to social media to share their frustrations at the new rule.
"This is ridiculous. The only person who should be able deal with demerit points is the police.
Fine is ok. But demerit point for parking fine is purely rubbish," one person wrote.
"Demerits were meant to be for bad behaviour whilst driving, next we will be getting demerits for just breathing," another said.
Other people complained that in many spots around Sydney it wasn't even possible to park 20 metres back from an intersection.
According to 7 News, 675 NSW drivers have been fined for parking too close to crossings, 4745 have been fined for leaving cars too close to intersections and 3812 fines have been handed out for illegally using disabled parking.
Bernard Carlon, from the NSW Centre for Road Safety, told the news network that if drivers choose to park illegally that was the price they would have to pay.
"We know that it's a high risk when you park illegally and block the line of sight for the traffic," he said.
Parking inspectors have been able to give out demerit points for the past few months but a grace period has meant they had the option of handing out the points at their discretion.
That period is now over and any drivers caught parking illegally risk being hit with demerit points and a fine.