The Dubbo Regional Council is warning motorists not to park on footpaths, nature strips and across driveways or they will be slapped with a hefty fine.
The council has become concerned with the alarming increase in parking infringements occurring across the region.
Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Operations Chris Devitt said these practices are putting pedestrians at risk.
“Parking on nature strips and across driveways presents a range of potential hazards,” he said.
“It is a danger for people using the footpaths appropriately; it can prohibit emergency services accessing properties and creates an additional risk for the mobility impaired.
“We don’t like issuing fines, but due to the increase of these offences we have no choice.”
Unless signposted otherwise the Australian Road Rule applicable to this offence states a driver must not stop on a bicycle path, footpath shared path or driving strip or nature strip adjacent to a length of road in a built-up area.
Fines for these offences are $263 per offence in an out of school zone and $337 per offence in a school zone.
“In the region, there has been an increase of people landscaping their nature strips with decomposed granite to act as parking areas for cars and other vehicles,” Mr Devitt said.
“Residents should note this is not a legal practice and fines may be issued.
“Parking on footpaths has been and continues to be an ongoing concern for the community and council. The reported incidence of footpath parking is increasing as motorists appear to become more complacent with their parking behaviour. Vehicles have been observed completely blocking footpaths and parking on concrete footpaths. Parking on the property driveway on the footpath area is also an offence.
“Illegal parking on the footpath can totally block pedestrian access forcing them onto the road carriageway to pass the vehicle with vulnerable pedestrians such as young children, the aged and mobility impaired persons particularly at risk.”
A Dubbo resident who spoke to the Liberal but did not want to be named said he agreed with the council’s stance.
“People should look up road rule 197 because they seem not to be aware that is illegal to stop on a bicycle path, footpath shared path or dividing strip,” he said.
“I personally have seen children and posties forced on to the road time and time again because people have parked on the footpath, and that is just not safe. Residents should know that the footpath is not their property, maybe they don’t, because I see so many people who park on it.
“I agree council should fine people; it is the law and they should be able to fine people even though they may be reluctant to do so.
“It is a serious issue that has been happening throughout this town for too long, and council should be commended for taking action.”