Azara Blog: New parking regulations come into effect

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Date published: 2008/03/31

The BBC says:

New parking regulations have come into force in England and Wales despite concerns over the use of CCTV footage to enforce rules and impose fines.

Varying charges can now be levied - with larger fines for serious offences and lower ones for minor misdemeanours such as overstaying at a parking meter.

The AA said it was concerned that using CCTV footage was unfair on drivers.

But the Local Government Association said motorists inconvenienced by errant parkers would "at last get justice".
Meanwhile, disability charity Mobilise said it is expecting "a flood of calls" from disabled motorists who get parking fines issued by CCTV because they believe cameras will not be able to distinguish whether they are blue-badge holders.

But Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said: "There's a very clear appeals process, so people with a disabled badge would have very clear evidence that they were not contravening the rules."

One of the conditions of the new parking rules is that councils will not be allowed to use parking fines as a way of raising revenue.
The AA's head of road policy Paul Watters said he broadly welcomed the changes, but was hesitant about the use of CCTV, preferring "real-time" tickets given to drivers or fixed to their cars.

"It does introduce an element of delay, because these things won't land on people's doormats for a few weeks perhaps, so you've forgotten the offence probably," he said.

"It doesn't give you an opportunity to check the signs and lines and make sure everything's in order," he said.

The AA has (for once) hit the nail on the head. It is very difficult to collect evidence when you get a ticket after the fact. And Winterton's response to the disabled badge problem is disgraceful. It will be up to motorists to prove they are innocent rather than the State proving they are guilty. And the idea that this is not going to be used "as a way of raising revenue" is a joke. Parking fines are part of ripoff Britain, brought to you by the biggest and most obnoxious ripoff merchant of them all, the State.

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