Thursday, November 12, 2009

'Big brother' plan to spot-check and tow cars owing more than three fines

London Evening Standard
Ruth Bloomfield

Legally parked vehicles could be towed away as traffic wardens in London are to do spot checks, hunting for vehicles with a backlog of unpaid tickets.
Drivers who owe for more than three parking tickets or traffic fines risk having their cars impounded under the pilot, which starts on 4 January. A database of vehicles with unpaid fines is being created. Drivers whose cars are towed could end have to pay more than £500 to retrieve them.
London Councils, the umbrella group of local authorities organising the trial, says the scheme is vital to stop persistent fine evaders. It involves six boroughs: Ealing, Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth and Kensington and Chelsea. If successful it will be rolled out across the capital. Ealing has suggested a removal fee of £200 plus £40-a-day storage charges on top of the fines.

But Neil Herron, of, said: "It is going to be a nightmare of red tape and litigation and smacks of Big Brother."
An AA spokesman said drivers who have only three penalty notices should not be a priority: "Some people have hundreds of unpaid PCNs and it is they that should be the focus."

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