Sunday, March 23, 2008

CCTV to dish out parking tickets

Minister Rosie Winterton is so far off the pace. Giving tickets to people two weeks AFTER an alleged contravention is not fairer Mrs. Winterton, it's outrageous. As for saying that it will improve safety ... for who? Those sitting watching CCTV harvesting cash and sticking the stamps on the parking fine envelopes?

The time has come to put an end to this outrageous stealth tax.

Fury over fines by post plan
By Adrian Butler

Traffic spies watching CCTV screens will dish out parking tickets from next week - without drivers knowing.

Anyone pulling over for a couple of minutes could be caught but won't find out until the letter arrives.

Motorists' groups were in uproar last night over the new laws, the impact of which were revealed earlier this month by the Sunday Mirror's Judge Tread.

They say they will lead to confusion, with thousands of drivers being fined for pulling over on to yellow lines for just a few minutes.

Campaigner Neil Herron said: "You might be pulling over to make a phone call or drop someone off and two weeks later you'll get a fine.
You'll be able to appeal, but it's outrageous you'd have to go through that in the first place."
Patrolling wardens - renamed "civil enforcement officers" - will no longer have to put tickets on windscreens.
And the fines are up to £80, or £50 for less serious offences. For drivers in London the new penalties are £120 and £80. Mr Herron, whose firm parking is helping to launch a sat-nav recording system to aid appeals, added:
"Motorists are about to suffer a deluge of increased enforcement. Britain's parking system is rapidly becoming a lawless, unacceptable stealth tax."

Consumer group Which? said the new tickets will be hard to fight as drivers may have no idea they were to get one until it arrived so would not have the opportunity to gather evidence.
Councils can use cameras to spot offences where it is "too difficult or sensitive" for a warden to work.

The AA is particularly worried about wardens not having to put a ticket on a windscreen. A spokesman said:
"We believe it is crucial a ticket is completed before a vehicle moves off.
Enforcement should be about prohibiting obstructive parking, not about postal fines after the event."

But it's not all bad news - clamping will be used only for persistent offenders, and councils will have to spend proceeds from tickets on improving transport.

Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said the new rules were fairer and would improve safety.

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