Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Nightmare on Every Street ... three strikes and you're out!

Given council's incompetence to date this is another nightmare scenario pending for the motorist.
Tickets issued in illegally signed locations. Non-compliant paperwork ... and now you will have your car clamped.

How many motorists will suffer because they have appeals pending?

How many motorists will be clamped because of incorrect data by the local authorities? Don't believe it could happen ... well read the story above.

Just wait for another batch of horror stories unfold, especialy now that councils such as Ealing are trialling these new powers. Think they are going to mend their ways? More ...

Motorists who fail to pay three parking tickets face having their cars clamped or towed away under strict new rules.
Ray Massey
Daily Mail
22nd July 2008

Parking attendants with hand-held computers will have access to a register of persistent parking offenders.
If they spot a car's unpaid penalties on their electronic logs they can call in a clamping van to immobilise the vehicle or tow it away until the cash is recovered.

New stricter rules could see more cars being clamped or towed away.

Council parking attendants in London will be allowed to clamp a car which has at least three unpaid parking fines - even if it is legally parked when it is spotted.

Motorists who fail to pay fines for other offences, such as driving in a bus lane or blocking a yellow box junction, face a similar punishment.

The powers have initially been given to local authorities in London under a Bill coming into force in two months' time.

It is believed other councils across the country will adopt similar tactics in due course.
The four London authorities holding a six-month trial of the new powers are Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, and Transport for London, the body responsible for all the main roads across the capital.

The law will also trap visitors from overseas as it makes no distinction between cars registered in Britain and those with foreign number plates .

The capital is seen as having the worst problem with fine dodgers.
Transport for London says the top 20 worst evaders have run up 1,712 unpaid parking and traffic fines between them. One unnamed offender is credited with 174 outstanding penalty charge notices.

Edmund King, president of the AA, welcomed the powers.

'The AA has regularly called for changes to parking enforcement which are aimed at targeting the persistent offender rather than person who makes the odd mistake,' he said.
'These tough measures should have no impact on most drivers but will let those who laugh at the system know that they cannot keep getting away with it.'

But there is also disquiet. Barrie Segal of motorists' champion AppealNow fears innocent motorists could run foul of the crackdown.
'There is a danger that cars will be towed away to the obscurity of a car pound, when appeals are pending,' he said.
'This is going to put enormous burdens on a motorist in making sure that councils have registered an appeal.'

The Government had originally floated the idea of a national 'three tickets and you're clamped' system, but developed cold feet in the wake of a series of database blunders.
Now it says it is up to local authorities to organise themselves if they want to share data.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'The Government has no plans to create a new national database of persistent offenders.
'It is for local authorities, as the relevant enforcement authorities, to consider how data could be shared between themselves for civil enforcement purposes.
'We understand London authorities have set up their own system and have themselves considered how this data could be shared with authorities outside London. This is a matter for local authorities.'

The department said that Section 79 of the Traffic Management Act, which operates nationally, 'specifically limits the scope of immobilisation and vehicle removal' to where a car is parked illegally.

The spokesman added: 'Current statutory guidance to local authorities in England defines persistent evaders as those motorists with three or more recorded contraventions for the vehicle where the penalty charge notices for these have not been paid.'


Anonymous said...

to disable or remove someones belongings without first being convicted in a court of Law is simply theft,Illegal and null and void

besides, I once had my car clamped so I did no more than ring the clampers and asked them to come remove the clamp, as they stopped their van I stuck my own clamp on it!, I removed my clamp after they had removed theirs from my car!, try it, it works

Giles Pepperell said...

Councils may only clamp when three PCNs have had the appeals process exhausted and the PCNs have reached the Charge Certificate stage, from where of course a Statutory Declaration can nullify the Charge Certificate (upon legitimate grounds) and return the process to the Formal Representations stage.

Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing certainly seem to know this. K&C haven't replied yet, TfL now has Tim Parker to contend with and apply fairness on behalf of the Mayor.

How does this effect a company registered vehicle of a sole trader having a tool of his trade denied him? Unlawful at an EU Human Rights legislation level which has primacy over this poxy 'Bill'.

Besides, no Civil Enforcement Officer is going to be checking legally parked vehicle number plates on the offchance.

That foreign vehicle claim is nonsense too, they routinely cancel PCNs issued to foreign registered vehicles and they can't pursue them to Charge Certificate stage as they cannot get Registered Keeper details.

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