The little-known parking rules you could be fined for

While city living comes with many benefits, there’s a handful of drawbacks that sometimes make you wish you lived in the middle of nowhere.

One of the more infuriating negatives about urban – and often suburban – life has to be parking.

Struggling to find a park can be a headache at the best of times, but there’s also a set of stringent parking laws that come with hefty fines to add to the already stressful situation.

Yahoo News Australia has identified several of the lesser known parking rules drivers must be aware of to avoid punishment.

Parking near intersections

Drivers who park near intersections risk landing themselves a fine and demerit points if they park too close to them.

In NSW, drivers who park within 20 metres of an intersection with traffic lights and there aren’t signs indicating it is allowed, they can cop a fine of $344 and receive two demerit points.

The same punishment is handed out for drivers who park within 10 metres of an intersection without traffic lights and there aren’t signs indicating it is allowed.

Pictured is a no stopping sign and a no parking sign in front of an orange wall.
Parking can be a massive headache for motorists across Australia. Source: Getty

Parking on paths, driveways and nature strips

A common misconception from drivers across the country is that you’re allowed to park on nature strips at the side of the road.

Unless indicated with signage, this is actually illegal and comes with a $268 fine for NSW residents.

Even homeowners with grassed areas outside the front of their homes which aren’t included in their land boundaries can face fines for parking on them.

The same goes for parking on paths, which also sees drivers copping a $268 fine.

And those who park in their driveways must ensure their vehicle isn’t protruding onto the path. The law, which has sparked controversy in the past, states a vehicle must not “obstruct access to ramps, paths or passageways”.

If found guilty of this, drivers again can face a fine of $268.

Parking in the direction of traffic

It may be obvious for a lot of drivers, but many still need reminding that vehicles cannot be parked while facing against the flow of traffic.

A black car is parked against the flow of traffic in an Australian street.
Parking against the flow of traffic is illegal in Australia. Source: Getty, file.

This rule has proven particularly difficult for visitors or ex-pats from the UK, who are allowed to park against the flow of traffic at certain times.

Those found guilty of doing so, will face a $114 fine in NSW.

NRMA road safety expert Dimitra Vlahomitros told Yahoo News Australia earlier this year the offence is “dangerous and can add to congestion, when motorists are forced to pull out of their parking space into oncoming traffic”.

“Parking on the wrong side of the road is never a good idea, particularly at night when visibility is reduced,” she added.

Parking with vehicle unlocked or keys in ignition

Drivers who leave their vehicles with open doors or windows can face a fine of $114 in NSW.

A Byron Bay man was shocked after he received a warning from NSW police that he could be fined for leaving the car unlocked.

He returned to his car to find a leaflet left by police stating that “your vehicle was found to be unlocked by police” and could be fined.

A similar rule also applies to any motorist that leaves their key in the ignition then walks more than three metres away. A fine of $114 can be given if there's no adult – someone aged 16 or over – in the car.

Miscellaneous parking fines

While it is common knowledge motorists can’t park in bus stops, taking up the side of the road which is frequented by Australia Post workers can also leave you with a fine.

In NSW, drivers must not park within three metres of an Australia Post letterbox.

Offenders can face a fine of $114.

The same rule applies for fire hydrants, which must be given a one-metre gap either side by parking motorists.

Failing to do so also incurs a $114 fine.

While fines and demerit points are listed for NSW, the rules apply for all other states and territories with varying fines, many which are handed out by individual councils.

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