Monday, May 02, 2011

Council still Smarting ...

The council were quick to change their 'terminology' after the earlier admissions, and appear to be blaming the VCA. Regardless of who is to blame the fact remains that it is clear the the vehicles were not legally able to issue PCNs without certification ... and this was the admission at PATAS.

The law is based on technicalities and, as the law is also a 'two-way street' if a motorist technically breaches a traffic order then a PCN can be issued BUT not by a council that does not have its 'technical' house in order.

This little tale has a long way to run ...

Motorist Nigel Wise wins parking fine appeal against Richmond Council over unlicensed CCTV car
Richmond and Twickenham Times
Friday 22nd April 2011
By Paul Teed

A motorist has won an appeal against a parking fine because the council’s CCTV car was not properly licensed.

Nigel Wise, 59, said the ruling could have implications for drivers who had been caught out by mobile surveillance units, because he believed Richmond Council had not correctly certified some of its filming apparatus since March 2007.

The campaigner, who also successfully challenged a ticket in July last year, told the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (Patas) hearing on Wednesday the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) had not declared the camera that snapped him in Powder Mill Lane, Whitton, in August last year as an “approved device”.

The council blamed the Department for Transport’s VCA, which it applied to for the certificate, and insisted all its CCTV cars had the correct licence.

Councillor Clare Head, cabinet member for traffic at the council, confirmed the VCA made a mistake on the paperwork it sent to the authority, adding: “This is all very frustrating, we believe we lost this case on a technicality. We will learn from this mistake and make sure it does not happen again.”

London Motorists’ Action Group, which backed Mr Wise’s case, claimed the hearing had wider implications for other affected drivers who could now try to overturn their tickets.

A spokesman for the group said: “Mr Wise presented to the tribunal detailed evidence, which proved none of the parking enforcement operations by Richmond’s Smart cars belonging to [parking enforcement company] NSL since March 2007 had been conducted by camera apparatus that was certified as authorised devices.”

Coun Head said: “The Government agency, VCA, responsible for issuing the certificates, made a mistake on the paperwork sent to us confirming the licence for one of our camera cars. Unfortunately, in addition to this, our representative at the hearing was not properly prepared and was unable to refute or verify the claim made by Mr Wise.

“I can now confirm all of Richmond Council’s CCTV camera cars are in fact correctly licensed and were at the time of this incident and also that the VCA document has since been corrected.”

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