Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New parking fine threat to motorists ...

and another licence to print money for the councils. When inconsiderate parking was handled by the Police any argument could be heard before a court of law ... but more importantly, proper consideration would be given to the gravity of the situation because the Police did not have a financial interest in the outcome.
Now vehicles can be fined but the problem remains as the vehicle will still be 'causing the alleged obstruction.' The only difference is that the more tickets issued the richer the councils become. Also bear in mind that to prove your innocence your only option is to go before an adjudicator ... who is funded by the very system he is being asked to deliberate upon.

This lawless 'civil enforcement' has torn up the rules of justice and fairness and continues to ride roughshod over the country's motorists. At what point will you say enough is enough ... when YOU are fined £120 for being 51cm away from the kerb?

New parking fine threat to motorists
Millions of motorists risk being fined up to £70 for "anti-social parking" such as parking more than 19 inches from the kerb even if there are no warning signs under new proposals unveiled by the Government.

By David Millward, Transport Editor
Daily Telegraph
29 Jul 2008

Drivers who park too far from the kerb or by a dropped kerb would be at risk of receiving a penalty charge.

The Department for Transport is ready to allow councils to impose fines even where no warning signs which note restrictions have been placed.

This would hit motorists who are guilty of "inconsiderate parking", such as leaving their cars more than 19.7 inches (50cm) from the kerb.

Drivers who park by a dropped kerb would also be at risk of receiving a penalty charge notice from a council traffic warden – now known as a civil enforcement officer.

Under existing arrangements police have the right to remove a car which is causing an obstruction – such as double parking and blocking in another motorist.
They can also move cars left by dropped kerbs when there is a complaint – for example from someone whose driveway has been blocked.
Councils, however, can only issue fines when they put up notices making it clear to motorists that parking restrictions are in force.

Motoring campaigners fear that town halls will capitalise on these new powers just as they did when they were first given the right to control parking and pocket the fines under "decriminalisation".
"Nuisance parking should be tackled and the original intention of the guidance was to give drivers half a chance from committing an offence," said Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA.
"Now it seems now that councils want the powers to levy fines without any responsibility to deter unwelcome parking and worse they do not have to prove anything if it came to an appeal.
"The current position has worked well as blatant obstruction was always simple to deal with.
"If a car is causing a problem it is towed way. It's as simple as that.
"These proposals introduce a massive grey area which will lead to countless disputes where motorists will say they were unaware they were doing anything wrong.
"The danger is that if councils can make money out of this they will."

Barrie Segal, whose organisation AppealNow regularly takes up the case of thousands of motorists, was equally horrified.
"If councils get these powers, the number of tickets will zoom."

But Rosie Winternton, the roads minister, defended the changes. "Dropped footways are provided to help wheelchair users and those with powered mobility vehicles or prams get around easily and safely. They also allow residents to easily reach their garages or park on their driveways."
The minister also insisted that action against double parking was essential, describing it as an “anti-social activity that causes an unnecessary obstruction of the road, putting all other road users at risk.”
The changes will apply to councils outside London which will be brought into line with authorities within the capital.

Motoring organisations’ biggest fear is that those who are caught by the changes will have no knowledge that they are even parking illegally at all.

In some cases confusion could arise with motorists - and council traffic wardens - unsure whether cars have been parked next to a kerb which has been lowered to allow wheelchair access or one which is merely worn down.
However the Government believes the changes are justified and that forcing councils to put up signs would add to “street clutter”.


WearsideJ said...

50cm is a bit far a kerb though to be fair. we don't have massive roads everywhere and I've seen massive problems because some &$%"! has parked like a moron less than 50cm from the kerb (Pallion Road) causing considerable tailbacks.

More powers to 'fine' to local authorities isn't the answer I will concede, those megalomaniacs need powers reducing not increasing.

chris w said...

PLease note the insrtuction to issue PCNs for parking more than 51cm from the kerb appears to already be in force in some boroughs. I live in Haringey, North London and observed a council warden with steel tape, camera and ticket pad at the ready in June of this year. I asked what he was doing and he explained the new instructions he had been given.I observed this seemed somewhat harsh. He shrugged, laughed, bent down to measure and then began to issue his PCN

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