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Getting tough with motorist who try to escape parking penalties

Lifestyle | Article

Tougher laws and a new two-tier penalty system will target dishonest motorists who try to escape their punishment for illegal parking from the end of March (Monday 31 March).

Peterborough City Council

Under the Traffic Management Act 2004, parking attendants (who will be re-named ‘civil enforcement officers’) will no longer be restricted to attaching penalty charge notices to illegally parked cars. Starting from Monday 31 March parking tickets can be mailed to motorists who drive away before the notice is attached to their windscreen or who physically prevent parking attendants from attaching the notices.

Councillor Graham Murphy, the city council’s Cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: “Parking attendants perform an important role in ensuring that all motorists have an equal opportunity to make use of on-street parking bays and council-owned car parks.

“Some motorists think they can ignore legal parking restrictions with impunity. There have been cases where people who are clearly contravening the rules have driven away before parking attendants can attached a ticket to their windscreen. In other cases drivers or their passengers have physically prevented attendants from doing their duty.

“In future people who try these tactics will still get a ticket through the mail after officers obtain their address details from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.”

There will also be two levels of penalty charge notice for parking violations. Under the two-tier penalty system, £70 tickets will be issued for contraventions such as parking on yellow lines, loading bays, resident and disabled parking areas, taxi ranks, bus stops, cycle routes and in prohibited areas outside schools.

Lower level £50 penalties will apply to contraventions such as exceeding the time limit in an on-street parking bay, parking without a pay-and-display ticket, ‘meter feeding’, misusing an invalid parking ticket and re-parking in an area without complying with a designated time interval.

Those who receive a charge notice will still have a 50 per cent discount on penalties if payment is made within 14 days. The discount concession will last for 21 days for people who receive a penalty notice through the post.

If the full penalty is not paid after 56 days a charge certificate increases the full amount by 50 per cent and failure to pay after another 14 days will result in the matter being referred to the Traffic Enforcement Centre in Northampton for recovery enforcement – incurring an additional £5 registration fee.

Motorists who wish to contest a penalty charge notice will still be able to appeal to the National Parking Adjudication Service (soon to be renamed as the Transport and Parking Appeals Service).

The city council’s website will soon provide motorists with full details of Peterborough’s traffic regulations orders through an online mapping system that will show all the city’s streets with the parking restrictions in force in those areas.

The new Traffic Management Act also gives local authority parking attendants the power to check Blue Badges issued to drivers with disabilities and to enforce a range of traffic violations through the use of CCTV cameras. However, Peterborough City Council has no plans to introduce the CCTV powers initially.

February 2008 - Peterborough UK Community Website




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