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Contributed by StevenGatt, SallyGrahame, RachelMcrae and current to 1 May 2016

Parking Infringements

Council Officers are authorised under the Local Government Act 2008 (NT) to enforce legislation that covers areas for which Local Government has responsibility for. This includes on-street and off-street parking regulations. Enforcement is conducted under the Traffic Act 1987 (NT) and the Traffic Regulations 1999 (NT) which includes the Australian Road Rules.

Vehicles observed parked in contravention of the Australian Road Rules are issued with an infringement notice. The notice is placed on the vehicle at the time of issue.

Parking infringements are issued for the following offences:

Fail To Display A Valid Pay And Display Parking Voucher
Pay and Display Parking Voucher Expired
Park for longer than permitted eg 2P, 3P
Parking where prohibited as indicated by a sign eg No Parking Anytime
Stopping where prohibited as indicated by a sign eg No Stopping Anytime
Stop Vehicle on a Nature Strip/Footpath/Shared Path/Bicycle Path/Dividing Strip
Park in the Wrong Direction
Stop or Park in a Disability Bay Without a Disability Permit on Display.

A person who is issued an infringement notice has 14 days to pay the infringement. If payment is not received within the 14 day period the infringement will then proceed to Courtesy Letter, in accordance with the Fines and Penalties (Recovery) Act 2001 (NT). This will result in further costs being added to the original penalty. Courtesy Letters are required to be paid within 28 days.

If the original fine and penalty costs are not received within the 28 days, the infringement notice is then forwarded to the Northern Territory Government's Fines Recovery Unit (telephone 1800 111 530) for Enforcement Action. If an Enforcement Order is made by the Unit, further costs will be added to the amount due. If payment is not received on the making of an Enforcement Order, enforcement actions may be taken. This could include suspension of your driver's licence, seizure of property, deductions from your wages or salary, charge on your land or a community work order.

If a person wishes to dispute the issue of an infringement notice there is a section titled "Election To Have Matter Heard In Court" on the back of the infringement or Courtesy Letter. This should be completed and sent to the relevant Council.

If you are served with a notice as the registered owner of a motor vehicle in regards to a parking infringement you should note the following:
  • If an offence is committed and the name of the offender is not ascertained at the time of issuing the Infringement Notice relating to the offence, the owner of the vehicle at the time the offence occurs is to be taken to have committed the offence whether or not the owner in fact committed the offence.

The owner of a vehicle is not to be taken to have committed an offence if:
(a) the vehicle was, at the time of the alleged offence, stolen or unlawfully used without the owner's consent;
(b) the vehicle is registered under the Motor Vehicles Act 1949 (NT) and at the time of the alleged offence the owner had sold or disposed of the vehicle but the registration of the vehicle had not been transferred to
the new owner; and the owner had provided the Registrar with a notice of disposal in respect of the vehicle as required by Section 20 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1949 (NT); or
(c) within 14 days after the owner receives or is served with the first of an Infringement Notice, a Courtesy Letter under Division 3 of Part 2 of the Fines and Penalties (Recovery) Act 2001 (NT) or a summons in
relation to the offence, the owner delivers to an appropriate place a statutory declaration made by the owner:-
(i) stating that some other person was in control of the vehicle at the time the offence was committed setting out the name and address of that other person and any other information known to the owner that may
assist in identifying or locating that other person;
(ii) stating that the vehicle was sold before the offence was committed and setting out the date of the sale, the name and address of the person to whom it was sold and, if the sale was made through an agent, the name and address of the agent; or
(iii) stating that at the time when the offence was committed the vehicle had been stolen or was being used unlawfully without the owner's consent.

If the owner of the vehicle is a body corporate, a director, secretary or manager of the body corporate, may make a statutory declaration to that effect.

If the owner of the vehicle is the Territory, the Commonwealth, a State or another Territory of the Commonwealth or a statutory corporation, a person authorised, or apparently authorised, for the purpose may make a statutory declaration.

A person named in a statutory declaration as being in control of a vehicle at the time of an offence cannot be found guilty of the offence unless a copy of the statutory declaration is affixed to the summons for the offence at the time the summons is served on the person.

Abandoned vehicles

Regulation 63 of the Traffic Regulations 1999 (NT) states an abandoned vehicle is:
  • an unregistered vehicle left on a road or nature strip
  • a registered motor vehicle left for more than 24 hours where it is illegally parked.

If a vehicle is found to be abandoned and is not causing an immediate obstruction or danger, a notice is issued to the vehicle requesting it to be moved from a public place within 24 hours.

If a police officer or an officer of the relevant authority, such as a council officer, can't find the driver of the vehicle in the immediate area or the driver refuses to move it, the officer can enter the vehicle for the purposes of having it moved. The officer is not liable for any damage caused to the vehicle when it is entered or moved - see Regulation 65 of the Traffic Regulations 1999 (NT). Costs of moving and storing the vehicle may be recovered from its owner before they can get it back. In larger towns, such as Darwin, the council is responsible for overseeing the moving and storing; in smaller jurisdictions police take on this role.

When a vehicle is removed as described above, a notice, usually issued by the council, is served on its owner either by post or by public notice in the local newspaper informing them of any charges, where the vehicle has been moved to and what steps they need to take to get it back. The notice should state that the owner has 14 days to collect their vehicle.

Sale or disposal of abandoned vehicles

If after 28 days of receiving notice, as described above, an owner has not taken possession of their vehicle and reimbursed the relevant authority for the cost of moving and storing the vehicle, it can be sold - see Regulation 67 of the Traffic Regulations 1999 (NT). If in the opinion of the relevant authority the vehicle is worth less than $200 it can be disposed of in any way the authority sees fit - see Regulation 68 of the Traffic Regulations 1999 (NT). Vehicles are usually sold, often to wreckers. If sold, the costs of selling and removing the vehicle and serving the notice are deducted from the proceeds, and the balance given to the owner upon request.

Blocked driveways

A person who finds a car blocking the driveway to their business or residence should contact the relevant council.

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