Parking Enforcement To Become More Motorist Friendly

New DfT guidelines regulate councils’ use of CCTV cameras

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Councils have been told to play fair with CCTV cameras by Department for Transport (DfT) Minster Rosie Winterton in a new set of guidelines aimed at making parking enforcement more motorist friendly.

The framework published this week informs councils that they must only use CCTV to enforce parking rules where it is impractical or dangerous for a parking attendant to operate thus preventing the use of CCTV as a 'more efficient', economically or otherwise, way of catching parking offenders.

Councils must also publish and promote their parking enforcement policies, including penalty charge levels, openly and clearly, regularly appraise their parking policies and consult drivers and businesses to ensure the system is working and ensure that parking attendants have clear evidence that vehicle was parked in contravention before issuing a penalty charge notice.

The new regulations, which come into force at the end of March, also stipulate that councils must not use parking enforcement as a revenue raising tool or set targets for the number of tickets issued.

Councils are also strongly advised to only use wheel-clamping for motorists who persistently evade paying parking fines.

Presenting the guidelines, Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said, "The Government has been quite clear that parking enforcement must be fair, clear, consistent and based on robust evidence - we want to increase public confidence in parking.

"Parking rules exist to help beat congestion and improve road safety. With more than 30 million vehicles on Britain's roads, just one vehicle parked in the wrong place can, and frequently does, cause traffic jams. It can also put other road users in danger.

"However, there is a perception that motorists are sometimes unfairly penalised. To overcome this, from 31 March, we are introducing new powers to make parking enforcement fairer and easier to challenge."


March 3, 2008