Parking near intersections in NSW

10 metres, you irresponsible gits. Yes, this is a crotchety rant while wearing my curmudgeon pants.

You’ve got to park at least 10 metres from the corner at an intersection without traffic lights (and at least 20 metres from the corner at an intersection that does have traffic lights).  For a comparison, the average car parking space in a parking lot is between 5.5 and 6 metres long, reflecting an average car length of 4.5-5.5 metres, so most of us should be parking two whole car lengths from the corner.  This space allows cars using the driving lanes to actually see around the corner for oncoming traffic i.e. it makes driving safer.

But that’s not how it seems to happen in my neighborhood.  How about yours?  Cars parked within 1-2 metres of the corner all over the back streets, yet how many times do you ever hear of somebody getting booked for it?  Where are all the parking officers when you need them? Only once have I heard someone complain about being booked for parking only 10 metres away from an intersection with traffic lights, where he should have been 20 metres away but he hadn’t realised that there was a different rule.  I would totally support a parking enforcement blitz around here.

It’s all laid out on pages 134-135 in the RTA Road Users Handbook (pdf)


Parking rules are designed to stop vehicles from parking
where it would be dangerous or inconvenient for others.

General parking rules

You must not stop your vehicle (that is, bring it to a stop and either stay with the
vehicle or leave it parked) in the following circumstances:
• Double parked (that is in the road alongside a car that is parked).
• Across a driveway or footpath.
• On a median strip or traffic island.
• On motorways.
• In a clearway.
• On footpaths and nature strips.
• In a safety zone or within 10 metres before or after a safety zone.
• Within an intersection.
• In a slip lane.
Within 20 metres of an intersecting road at an intersection with traffic lights
unless a sign allows you to park there.
• Within one metre of another vehicle parked in front or behind
(does not apply when angle parking).
Within 10 metres of an intersecting road at an intersection without
traffic lights unless a sign allows you to park there.
• Within three metres of any double centre lines.
• Within three metres of an Australia Post letter box unless dropping off or picking
up passengers or mail.
• Within 20 metres before and 10 metres after a bus stop.
• On or within 20 metres before and 10 metres after a children’s crossing or
pedestrian crossing.
• Within 10 metres before and three metres after a marked foot crossing with
traffic signals.
• Within one metre of a fire hydrant, fire hydrant indicator or fire plug indicator.
• On a railway level crossing.
• Within 20 metres before and after a railway level crossing.
When you are parking on a hill or a curve outside a built up area, make sure that
someone coming over the hill or around the bend can see your car from at least
100 metres away.

Before opening your door check your mirrors and blind spots for
pedestrians, bicycles or other vehicles.

I’m tempted to get out there with a 10 metre measuring tape and a sign and take photos of people parking where they shouldn’t. I probably won’t actually do it, I’ll just fantasise about it. If somebody else decides to do it though? I will be cheering very loudly.

Categories: law & order

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9 replies

  1. That made me go and check the NZ Road Code. It’s 6 metres here, and even that is regularly broken, notably outside my daughters’ school.

  2. My local council – Canterbury NSW – will check intersections for persistent parkers parking too close if they are asked to. Might take a few weeks to get around to it but they have their traffic committee minutes on the web so you can see they do do it.
    If there is a lot of it happening they’ll put up signs and send the rangers round, especially around schools.
    They don’t seem to go around looking for bad parkers, but rely on people to write to them and complain.

  3. I looked up the rules where I live (good thing, as I wasn’t sure) and it’s 6 metres back from a crosswalk, 9 metres back from a stop sign or signaled intersection.
    In business areas, the curb is painted yellow to signal a no parking zone, and people are pretty good about heeding that because they will be cited or, in some cases, towed away which costs upwards of $300 to rectify, if you can do it within 24 hours, and more every day thereafter.
    In residential areas, though, there isn’t a single parking law that isn’t regularly violated, and the police won’t even issue warnings, let alone citations. Every neighbor on the opposite side of my street parks with their interior tires up on the sidewalk, making it dangerously narrow or completely impassable for pedestrians, but I guess they just don’t count. Police say they’ve been ordered by superiors to ignore this unless a homeowner complains about a car parked in front of their house, but it’s the homeowners themselves doing it.
    I boggle.

  4. Hell yes! My dead-end street contains a kindergarten, and while the majority of people dropping off/picking up park sensibly, there’s a persistent stream of people parking in the CLEARLY MARKED No Standing Zones, as well as over residents’ drives, in the turning circle etc.
    It drives me nuts – it seems to be the most expensive cars that are the worst offenders, and it requires a lot of self-talk to remind me that these people are only a majority and most of the people walking up my street deserve a friendly greeting, not a scowl punishing them for the sins of others.
    There’s defnitely no consideration for visibility or safety – just a determination to get as close to the door as possible.
    I have spent some time wondering if it’s illegal/improper to send a slab of beer to the parking officers to entice them to visit more often?

  5. Yep – at the primary school, there is invariably a giant 4WD parked on the verge a metre or two from the corner. This particular corner has a huge number of kids crossing it to get home and no crosswalk or crosswalk attendant, and the 4WD completely blocks the view of turning cars (and of the kids) so that they might be each aware that the other is there.
    The other constant, egregious violation is cars parked across paths, often forcing me right off into the roadway. The more politely and cheerfully I point this out and ask them to move their car, the nastier, louder, and more abusive they are in their replies.

  6. I also live on a school street on it and see some shocking parking. My street actually has a high school, a kindergarten, and a primary school – the primary school end, where I live, is a dead end, and people park on the yellow lines that are painted in the turning circle which means that other cars can’t turn and the whole street becomes backed up with cars. There is also the problem of cars parking too close to corners, and because a lot of them big 4WD-type cars it is so hard to see past them and to see smaller children. And then there is the problem of cars parking over driveways: I now actively avoid arriving home during school pickup time because people always park over my driveway and it drives me up the wall. Sometimes they would be in their car and would guiltily speed away when they noticed me, but other times there would be nobody in the car and so there was no way for me to get in to my own driveway. I’ve had lots of confrontations with people, and it’s horrible to have to politely ask someone to stop violating the road code and have them be very rude, or say “I’m only stopping for a second” and not move. If there is nobody in the car I usually leave a note under their windscreen wiper reminding them that a driveway is an entrance/exit and that the road code doesn’t permit parking over an entrance/exit. In general, it’s a terribly laid out area and there is a lot of very unsafe behaviour. There was a very funny story in the local paper a while back about a woman who was ticketed for parking on the yellow lines outside the school (sometimes parking wardens do check the area) who was outraged because she said she had only “paused”, not stopped, for “seven seconds”, which she knew to be true because she had been watching her car clock. She then complained about the bad behaviour of the other drivers in that area. It was a good laugh.

  7. Preach it. There is a Hyundai Excel or something of that ilk which parks just round the corner from our cul de sac, and I mean, JUST ROUND THE CORNER. Makes the left turn to drive to the station in the morning (Park and ride is my normal mode) much too exciting.

  8. By the way, for anybody wondering what my curmudgeon pants look like? They are high-waisted, relaxed-fit with a Chuck Norris Action Gusset and only really look right when worn with steel-tipped stomping boots.

  9. Are those pants available online anywhere tigtog? Cos I think you’ve just identified a substantial gap in my wardrobe.

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