OSLO, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- New year brings warning news for Norwegian drivers who do not obey rules: double fines for illegal parking from Jan. 1, public broadcaster NRK reported on Friday.
"Here is a car parked on a forbidden place. That means a fine of 500 kroner (58 U.S. dollars), but soon it will cost 900 kroner," Maud Eikeland, a traffic warden in western city of Stavanger, told NRK.
For the time being, the highest fine she can note is 500 kroner, but the new parking regulations will increase this limit. They will provide common standards and rules for all the parking companies in Norway, regardless of whether they are private or public, NRK reported.
According to the report, parking companies will have three fine rates they must relate to: fine of 300 kroner when a driver has not withdrawn the ticket for time-limited free parking; fine of 600 kroner for parking longer than maximum allowed time on paid parking places or when a driver has not paid the parking fee; fine of 900 kroner for illegal parking at reserved mobility impaired parking space, sidewalks, intersections, pedestrian crossings and places where it is forbidden to park or stop.
The rules stated that the drivers will have a reasonable deadline to pay the fine and that the fine will not be given in case the driver is in the line in front of payment machine. There will be a simpler way to complain via a new, mandatory and regulated parking penalty tribunal.
Some of the parking lots will be required to have charging points for electric cars and others to be adapted and reserved for mobility impaired with parking permit. In every area there will be at least one universal paying machine and at least one universal paying option, for example paying by mobile phone.
The changes have led to increased prices by many public parking companies, including in Stavanger.
"For example, the fine for parking longer than maximum time on paid parking places will increase from 300 to 600 kroner," Eikeland said.
Norwegian Minister of Transport Ketil Solvik-Olsen launched the new parking regulations earlier this year. The amendments will ensure better protection of consumers, by, among other things, "no longer allowing private operators to do as they please," NRK said.
Norwegian automobile association NAF is among of those who have worked for years to put in place common regulations.
"We have seen several cases of less serious parking companies that have operated with their very own parking regulations just to make money. That shall stop now," Thor Jasund, member of the political committee in NAF, told NRK.
He supports the changes, although in many cases it will involve higher fines.
"Now the drivers will at least know what rules they must adhere to. It will also be much easier to complain since a separate parking supervision is falling into place," Jasund said.
Eikeland was excited about how the drivers will receive the changes.
"It will be interesting to see the reactions of people. I think that someone will get a shock when they suddenly have to pay 900 kroner for illegal parking," she said. (1 U.S. dollars = 8.70 Norwegian kroner)