The audit reviewed the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the arrangements for the enforcement of street parking in accordance with the Traffic Act 1909 (the Act) and its Regulations (the Motor Traffic Regulations 1935) primarily in the inner Sydney Metropolitan area. The audit was undertaken following consultations with the Commissioner of Police and the Lord Mayor of Sydney.
Enforcement (in this report) covers the supervision and inspection of parking in designated areas on public streets in accordance with the conditions recorded primarily on signage.
Enforcement is undertaken currently by Parking Patrol Officers (PPOs) and sworn police officers of the NSW Police Service (Police Service), and by certain authorised Local Government Councils.
In 1997-98 approximately 837,000 parking infringement notices, valued at $58.2m, were issued by way of a penalty.
The Audit Office is of the opinion that the arrangements for the enforcement of parking are not as efficient and effective as they could be and should be reviewed.
Accountability of the enforcement role needs to be improved. Currently there is minimal monitoring of the success or otherwise of the enforcement function.
There is a need to address and assign more closely the current responsibilities for enforcement arrangements between the Police Service and councils.
There is also a need to articulate more clearly the objectives to be achieved from the legislation and their relative priorities. That is whether, and the extent to which, the legislation is designed to assist traffic flow, provide safety for drivers and pedestrians and provide access to the sharing of limited parking space.
Evidence suggests that: there is a variety of views as to the intent of the legislation; the law is regularly breached and the current level of enforcement is not an effective deterrent.