Parking Tickets Drivers Beware!


3.4 million Parking tickets were issued in England and Wales last year. Latest figures suggest as little as 1% of penalties issued were challenged, however over half of the tickets that were appealed were refunded. Sue Vanden, Head of the Road Traffic Accident team at Simpson Millar LLP, explains...

From 31st March 2008 parking laws and regulations were given a facelift with the aim of making parking laws fairer. One radical change was the introduction of CCTV footage to enforce rules and impose fines. Unfortunately this closes the previous loophole of being able to escape a fine if you were able to drive off before a ticket was placed on your windscreen.

We are likely to see a substantial increase in the rise of tickets issued by post and the receiving of a ticket weeks after committing an offence. The intention is to improve parking laws and to ensure that repeat offenders do not escape punishment and continue to inconvenience other drivers by parking illegally. However, this will make it harder to appeal tickets. The failure to alert the motorist to the offence at the time will reduce a motorist’s ability to check details such as markings, notices and retain tickets as evidence; which will ultimately reduce the success rate of an appeal.

Other changes include different fines depending on the offence committed. For example, parking on a double yellow line will attract a higher fine than the expiration of a ticket.

Legal Loopholes

  • Inadequate Markings: Insufficient lines and bays or lack of signposts detailing restrictions may mean your parking ticket could be scrapped
  • Unlawful authority of the local council: Some councils do not have the right to place painted lines, bays or signs where they have done
  • Ticketing Errors: Simple mistakes such as not putting the correct date, car registration, car type or colour on your ticket can render it invalid
  • Incorrect Wording: Some local councils have made errors in the wording of tickets. Parking regimes in Rochdale, Sunderland and Blackburn issued tickets to the driver of the vehicle and not the owner. These tickets were challenged and some motorists were successful in recovering charges
  • Lack of License or Permission: Clampers must have a license with the Security Industry Authority

Key Changes to the Law:

  • Offending drivers can be caught by CCTV on busy routes
  • Parking on a yellow line is a ‘higher’ offence with an increased penalty
  • A penalty notice does not have to be placed on the windscreen, it can be issued by post if the motorist drives away
  • Clamping will only be used for persistent offenders

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