Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Councils use CCTV to collect £3million in 'ghost' parking tickets every year

But are their PCNs valid? More will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Daily Mail
12 January 2010
By Scott Warren

CCTV cameras are being used to issue 'ghost' parking tickets by 34 councils, generating £3million a year in fines.
The cameras record parking rule infringements, with automated fine notices then sent to the vehicle's owner.
More councils are expected to soon adopt the technology.

Motoring groups say 'ghost' tickets are unfair, as it makes matters more difficult for motorists hoping to mount an appeal.
They also argue the cameras cannot tell an illegally parked car from one with a disabled permit, or from a car that has been briefly stopped so the driver can consult a map.

AA president Edmund King said: 'We regard them as 'ghost tickets' because drivers are unaware of their alleged offence for some time afterwards. These tickets are very hard to challenge because drivers are in no position to check the roadside signs or whether the ticket was issued by mistake.'

Throughout England, 265 local authorities collected £328million in parking fines last year - more than three times as much as speed cameras raked in.
Fines range from £120 in London to £70 elsewhere, with a 50 per cent discount offered for offenders who pay their fine within 14 days.
Cameras help authorities issue tickets for parking over yellow or red lines, in bus zones, on zig zags or in a restricted bay.

Most councils issuing fines based on camera evidence are in London.

Westminster is one London council using the technology. It saw the number of fines increase by almost 100,000 a year to 823,836, while in Enfield, north London, camera-generated tickets accounted for 40 per cent of all parking fines in the first year.

Department for Transport advice says the cameras should only be used where it is too difficult for personnel to issue tickets.
A Local Government Association spokesman told the Telegraph: 'Councils will not apologise for giving out parking tickets to stop cars parking illegally.
'If people do not want a parking ticket, they should not park illegally

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