Sydney man overturns correct but 'ridiculous' $362 parking fine

The photographer was let off the hook after presenting an 'impressive' case to the courts.

A Sydney man has managed to have his $362 parking fine dismissed after presenting a compelling case about a little-known road rule.

Erskineville local Damian Seagar was surprised when he was hit with the "ridiculous" penalty — including two demerit points — for "parking within 10 metres of an intersection with no traffic lights" in December. The photographer said he and other residents usually park in that spot because there are no signs to suggest they shouldn't, which made receiving the fine quite confusing.

"This seemed ludicrously over the top for a quiet area, I would never park intentionally illegally if it was signposted that way," he told 9 News. "It's really unclear, and it's mixed messaging to have some corners with signs and some without, because that implies that the corner without the sign is fine."

A photo of Damian Seagar's car in the inner west Sydney suburb of Marrickville parked within 10 metres of an intersection.
The Sydney successfully fought a fine for 'parking within 10 metres of an intersection with no traffic lights'. Source: 9 News

'Almost no one knows about it'

Believing the fine was "totally unfair", Mr Seagar bravely decided to contest it last week without a lawyer. While representing himself at Sydney Downing Centre Local Court, he pleaded guilty to the offence — as his actions were against the law — however, he offered an explanation in attempt to ask for the courts leniency.

Mr Seagar tried proving that "close to no one knows about" the parking rule by providing 40 photos of other cars parked in the exact same spot over the last two months. Yahoo News Australia previously conducted a survey to see who knew about the road rule. It revealed 61 per cent of respondents were unaware and believed there should be signs, while 39 per cent thought it was common knowledge.

Mr Seagar also rebutted the argument that his car was blocking motorists' view of the intersection by being three metres away from it. In measuring and photographing a building on the same corner where his car was parked, he curiously found that it actually obstructed the road more than his vehicle. It was only 1.7 metres away from the intersection.

A photo of the letter the Erskineville local received, detailing the $362 fine from December.
The fine he contested is one of two penalty notices, totalling in $724. He was slapped with the second in February for another car parked on the same street. Source: 9 News

Sydney man wins case, yet to fight second fine

To Mr Seagar's satisfaction, Magistrate Haskett chose to dismiss the penalty, which the motorist credits to his great efforts. "I put a lot of work in and submitted a lot of paperwork and they were pretty impressed by that," he told 9 News.

While the man can dust off his hands for this fine, there is still more work to be done. In February, the photographer received the same $362 fine for another car that's been parked in the same spot only metres away for almost five months. His plans to fight it in court as well.

"The warden would have seen it parked in that spot when they ticketed me for the first one," he told 9 News. "It just shows even some wardens don't know the rules properly themselves."

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