We’ve all been in a situation where you just can’t find a spot to park, so you pull up onto the kerb or nature strip, and park on the grass.
- Parking or driving on a footpath is illegal
- If you park on a footpath, passageway or pathway, or bike path, you could face fines
- Some jurisdictions may enforce demerit points, too.
But did you know that if you happen to park on a footpath, you could be fined for committing an offence?
You could cop a hefty financial penalty, and you might be alarmed to learn that simply parking on a path may also see you slapped with a demerit-point penalty.
The Australian Road Rules 2014, reg 288, Driving on a path, states the following:
(1) A driver (except the rider of a bicycle) must not drive on a path, unless subrule (2) or (3) applies to the driver.
(2) A driver may drive on a path if the driver is—
- driving on a part of the path indicated by information on or with a traffic control device as a part where vehicles may drive, or
- driving on the path to enter or leave, by the shortest practicable route, a road-related area or adjacent land, and there is not a part of the path indicated by information on or with a traffic control device as a part where vehicles may drive, or
- permitted to drive on the path under another law of this jurisdiction.
(3) A driver may drive a motorised wheelchair on a path if—
- the unladen mass of the wheelchair is not over 110 kilograms, and
- the wheelchair is not travelling over 10 kilometres per hour, and
- because of the driver’s physical condition, the driver has a reasonable need to use a wheelchair.
Here’s a rundown of the penalties that could be applicable across Australia for driving or parking on a path.
NSW – 3 demerit points, $349 fine.
Victoria – $161 fine.
Queensland – 3 demerit points, $361 fine.
South Australia – $287 fine +$99 Victims of Crime Levy payment, total $386, and 3 demerit points for driving on a path and failing to give way. There’s also an applicable rule for “Park obstructing path of other vehicles or pedestrians”, which seems like the more realistic offence – it carries a $79 fine and $99 Victims of Crime Levy payment (total $178).
Tasmania – $146.25 fine.
Western Australia – we couldn’t find any fines or demerits details for this, but many councils list that it’s an offence to “park any part of your vehicle on or over a footpath, this includes where a footpath intersects or crosses a driveway”.
Northern Territory – $50 fine.
ACT – $307 fine.
So, maybe think twice before you park on the path.
Not intended as legal advice. Check with the relevant roads authority in your state or territory.