The outrageous parking fine you may not know exists - but it could cost you $387

You would have thought parking in this area would have been safe, but you'd be wrong writes Adam Lucius.

Take a look around Australia's busy streets or check out the myriad of Facebook community pages and one thing becomes obvious pretty quickly.

Finding a parking spot is akin to winning Powerball and Oz Lotto in the same week.

We've never had so many cars for so few spots.

And we're not just talking city CBDs.

There is a nightly fight – sometimes literally – for car space on our suburban streets.

Cars parked in a Manly driveways.
A common sight in suburban Sydney, but the drivers of these cars parked on driveways on a street in Manly, could be in for a rude shock. Source: Supplied

Those not fortunate enough to have off-street parking — or who have more than one or two cars at home —often have to park hundreds of metres away from their place of residence.

And making matters more desperate is an almost unbelievable law many Australians are unaware of.

Did you know that it is illegal to park across your own driveway?

Sydney resident Liz Troy didn’t.

She couldn't believe her eyes when she walked out of her home to find a parking ticket under the windscreen wiper of the family car.

The mother-of-four from the city's northern suburbs looked up and down the street to check she wasn't being pranked before realising it was genuine.

Cars parked on driveways on Sydney street.
They probably don't know it but the owners of these cars could be facing a fine of nearly $400. Source: Supplied

Outrageously, a local ranger had pinged her for parking across her own driveway.

It's the little-known and unfair law catching out hundreds of Australians every day.

"I thought it must have been something else under the wiper," Liz told Yahoo Australia.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw it was an infringement notice. I know ignorance of the law is no excuse, but the car wasn't blocking the footpath or someone's access."

When she questioned the fine, Liz was told by authorities they were acting on a complaint.

"That was probably the most disappointing part… that someone in your street would be that petty as to make an official complaint," she said.

Star falls victim to shocking parking fine too

Even celebrities aren’t immune to the long arm of the law when it comes to parking in your driveway.

Several years ago, Kerri-Anne Kennerley was fined $183 and deducted two demerit points for parking across her own driveway, in a school zone, in Sydney's east.

She took the matter up with the NSW RTA (now known as Transport NSW), explaining she needed to park close to her home to assist her disabled husband John into the car.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley smiles at the camera.
Even celebrities like Kerri-Anne Kennerley have fallen victim to this bizarre rule. Source: Getty

The fine was eventually overturned and she was instead issued a warning.

Thousands of other unsuspecting drivers haven't been so fortunate.

You would have thought that parking on your own property, when you're only in danger of inconveniencing members of your own household would be beyond the purview of authorities - but it turns out this isn't the case!

Surprising offence can come with a hefty fine

A Transport NSW spokesperson confirmed there are strict laws around parking across residential driveways, aimed at ensuring 24/7 access.

"It is an offence to park across a driveway regardless of whether the driveway in question leads into the residence, workplace or some other property that the driver is associated with," a spokesperson said.

"It is illegal to stop or park across or otherwise obstruct access to a driveway in NSW.

"Drivers may only stop or park across a driveway if they are dropping off or picking up passengers, do not leave the vehicle unattended (or) complete the dropping off or picking up and resume driving within two minutes of stopping.

"Drivers who park across or otherwise obstruct access to a driveway face a fine of $302. If the offence takes place in a school zone, a fine of $387 and a 2 demerit point penalty applies.

Cars parked along a city street.
It can be quite a feat to find parking in some Sydney suburbs. Source: Getty

"This offence is in place to ensure that access to driveways remains open to vehicles requiring entry to the adjoining property.

"In locations where parking is scarce, drivers of vehicles parking across and obstructing driveways can be a serious problem and this offence allows police and council rangers to take corrective action to discourage and correct this activity by drivers."

You've all been warned!

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