Council weighs in on parking sign 'confusing' Aussies

The parking in sign in question is intended to make life easier for locals, but Aussies have responded with confusion.

After Aussies aired their "confusion" over signs warning drivers not to park on both sides of the road in narrow streets, questioning how rangers would know who was there first when they issue fines, a local council has tried to set the record straight.

While such road signs exist all over the country, the topic of how they're policed was thrust into the spotlight earlier this week after a South Australian motorist photographed one of the signs in the inner-southern Adelaide suburb of Mitcham.

The photographer uploaded the snap to social media, asking "can we get more of these for narrow streets please?", with the idea being that it's easier to drive down narrow lanes without parked cars on either side.

A council parking sign in the inner-city suburb of Mitcham.
South Australians have aired their confusion over this council parking sign in the inner-city suburb of Mitcham. Source: Reddit

Aussies respond to 'confusing' road sign in Adelaide

But immediately people responded questioning how rangers and road authorities would know who was there first when it came to issuing fines, without there having been someone on the ground physically monitoring the street at all times.

"I'm always so confused by this rule though, how do they decide who was there first, or do they simply fine both? Seems unfair when the first person left 3m," a person wrote online. "Most narrow streets have no parking signs down one side. This idea is just stupid," another said.

"As an American checking in, this rule is madness, just make one side no parking and be done with it," a US expat said.

One person came up with a clever way to avoid any confusion over who nabbed a park first, suggesting people simply "take a photo of your car and the opposite side of the road when you park".

Cars parking on both sides of the road in a generic image.
The sign warns against parking on both sides of the road when there's not a three-metre gap in between. Source: Getty

Council weighs in, reveals 'balanced approach' to fine distribution

While dozens of other Aussies weighed in with their thoughts on the matter, a spokesperson for Mitcham City Council revealed how officers enforce the rule. Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, the spokesperson said that council "takes a balanced approach" when issuing fines.

"The City of Mitcham is responsible for keeping our roads safe," the spokesperson said. "Under the road rules you must leave at least three metres clear for vehicles to pass your parked car when parked on the street. If the road has a continuous dividing line or a dividing strip, you must park your vehicle at least three metres from the continuous dividing line or dividing strip.

"If the way residents park impacts access to fire tracks, traffic or the most direct route to a fire, lives and homes may be put at risk. When a vehicle is parked there must be at least three metres of road clearance alongside the car to let other cars pass. This is required by law, and it may save a life."

The spokesperson concluded that "in instances where parking issues occur and it is unclear which vehicle was parked first", council takes a balanced approach to enforcement. "Our team proactively engages with vehicle owners to communicate parking regulations and educate individuals on road rules," they said.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.