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Hidden detail on road sign leaves motorist with $302 fine in Aussie suburb: ‘It’s deceptive’

The resident from Sydney claimed he was visiting a cafe at 1:49 pm and parked on Military Road when they were slapped with the fine.

A motorist copped a $302 fine for parking in front of a ‘misleading’ clearway sign outside an Aussie cafe – leaving him determined to fight the penalty ‘as a matter of principle’.

The local, who lives near Mosman in Sydney’s North Shore, claimed he and his partner were visiting a popular cafe at 1:49 pm and parked on Military Road when they were unknowingly slapped with the fine.

The nearest road sign that outlined the details of the “special event clearway” was obscured by a folded-over piece of paper, so the couple looked at “seven or eight” other signs in the vicinity which they understood to mean that the clearway was from 6 pm to 3 am on New Year’s Eve, which fell on a Sunday.

Left: A special event clearway road sign. Middle: An image of the penalty notice. Right: Another sign in the area that says the clearway begins at 6pm..
The motorist copped a $300 fine for parking near the 'deceptive' sign. Source: Supplied

It’s understood that the clearway where they parked actually began at 11 am - but the time frame is obscured by a folded-over piece of paper on the sign. When Yahoo requested clarification, a spokesperson from Mosman Council refused, stating only that the recipient could request a review through Revenue NSW.

“The sign is folded over. You can see clearly that the sign is not fully into the slot,” the man told Yahoo News Australia. “To me it’s deception.”

Motorist ‘took evidence’ of incident

The driver in question explained that it was only when he left the cafe that his partner realised that there was a fine affixed to the windscreen. “We pulled up, checked everything and went back to take photographs as evidence,” he said, confident that they were in the right.

“I came straight home and did the appeal,” he said. The man has since twice and been denied both times.

“The point I'm making is [the sign] wasn't visible to us and we relied on the other side [of the road,” he said. “It's as simple as that. It's not clear.” Now, he claims that he will continue to fight the matter as a “matter of principle” adding “I honestly don’t think it’s fair.”

Have you experienced a misleading road sign? Contact News Editor Courtney Greatrex at courtney.greatrex@yahooinc.com

Two more signs in the area indicate that the clearway began at 6pm on December 31. Source: Supplied
Two more signs in the area indicate that the clearway began at 6pm on December 31. Source: Supplied

Aussies just as baffled by sign

Sharing images of the sign to social media, other Aussies were just as confused by the signage. “I'm sure we weren't the only ones fined like this on the day,” he said.

While some thought the sign said that the clearway was from 9 am-6 pm, others thought it was from 6 pm to 3 am. But no one suggested that it began at 11 am from the images provided.

“Clear as mud,” said one local. “Good luck with your fight. I’d certainly be challenging this.”

When the driver clarified that the clearway began at 11 am, one said “That’d be unlucky”.

“People (and the sign) are telling you there was a clearway on NYE from 9 am to 6 pm and then 6 pm to 3 am. If you're told 11 am then where is that?! Again, good luck to you!” they added.

Mosman Council responds

A spokesperson from Mosman Council told Yahoo: “Revenue NSW is responsible for the review of penalty representations, the receipt and processing of fines issued by Council and the administering of the fine enforcement system for the collection of unpaid fines.

“Reviews of penalty notices must be requested through Revenue NSW if the recipient believes an error has been made or wishes to seek leniency because there were special circumstances that contributed to the offence.”

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

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