With respect to the journalist the majority of tickets are issued to migrant workers not tourists.
The DVLA and the Police across the country are being forced to admit that this is a growing problem and impossible to legislate against ... unless EVERY car is stopped on sight.
Local authorities are forced to write off millions in fines.
This is another practical consequence of the free movement of people within the EU.
A migrant worker doesn't need to register his car for 6 months.
No parking tickets or road fines.
Sell the car after 6 months or produce another ferry ticket just in case stopped by the authorities.
How many cars?
60,000 went through the Congestion Charge without paying in the last two years...are they all tourists?
TOURISTS parking their cars illegally in Edinburgh have escaped paying £700,000 worth of fines which cannot be enforced because the owners do not live in Britain.
A loophole in the law has forced the city council to write-off thousands of parking fines issued to foreign-registered vehicles over the past four years.
Owners of British-registered vehicles can be traced through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea if they fail to pay.
However, the council says it cannot pursue drivers responsible for almost 20,000 unpaid tickets as the DVLA has no record of foreign owners.
Motoring groups last night called for tougher action to ensure people from other countries are treated the same as British motorists.
Luke Bosdet, spokesman for the AA, said: "It will be galling for drivers in this country when they see that drivers of foreign-registered cars are getting off Scot-free with parking fines.
"No doubt the council has calculated that it would not be economically-viable to pursue these motorists in their home countries. If they were to try and do that, I assume the Edinburgh council taxpayer would be saddled with an even bigger bill.
"However, some of these motorists will be foreigners who have brought their car over when they come to live here. They are required by law to register their vehicle with the DVLA after six months. If they are not doing this, then I suggest the most regular and persistent offenders should be taken to court."
Sheila Rainger, campaign manager for the RAC Foundation, added: "This is a problem across the country. It also applies to drivers who have been flashed by a speed camera.
"There is anecdotal evidence in London that people are actively trying to buy foreign-registered cars in this country."
The city council is supporting a campaign by the British Parking Association to close the loophole.
Councillor Ricky Henderson, executive member for transport, said: "This is a problem across the UK and I can understand how frustrating it must be for motorists who dutifully pay their parking fines.
"There are currently no cross-border warrants for parking tickets within Europe. I hope to see a solution to this nationally and this loophole closed.
"If there was a strong agreement in place between countries in the European Union on the recovery of parking fines then perhaps the figure owed to the council would be lower."
Allan Jackson, the council's Conservative transport spokesman, said: "This comes as no surprise. It is a well-known fact in Britain that if is difficult to trace foreign vehicle owners.
"It is something councils have been looking at for a long time and more action needs to be taken through the European Union. We could understand if a driver made a one-off mistake but to visit someone's country and abuse our hospitality is another matter."
Thursday, March 01, 2007
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