Changes to Civil Parking Enforcement

AA wants real time tickets not extra time tickets

28 February 2008

Motorists may be in for a shock when they receive parking tickets in the post or tickets for offences they did not know existed, when new parking regulations come into force on March 31, according to the AA responding to the Government's guidance on Civil Parking Enforcement issued today.

New Civil Enforcement Officers could be patrolling the streets from the end of March. This is not an April fool's joke or Orwell's "1984" coming to a street near you, but indicates that Traffic Wardens who were replaced by Parking Attendants are now to be known as Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs).

Dropped kerbs

The AA is keen to advise motorists of changes to parking enforcement which come into force. Motorists may be unaware that they can get ticketed for parking at a dropped curb or half a meter from the pavement.

This is to prevent the blocking of driveways and double parking. There are no street signs to indicate these offences so the AA hopes that the Civil Enforcement Officers will show some flexibility until the message gets across to motorists.

Ghost tickets

The new regulations state that a ticket can be issued by post if "the CEO had started to issue the PCN but did not have enough time to finish it or serve it before the vehicle was driven away." The AA believes that this could lead to more "ghost tickets" and ticketing of Blue Badge holders or people delivering or dropping off passengers.

Civil Enforcement Officers' main tasks

The Civil Enforcement Officer's main objective will be to enforce parking controls but may cover related activities such as inspecting parking equipment, checking and reporting defective parking signs and road markings. The CEO may also be asked to undertake other tasks, including:

  • informing the Police of criminal parking activity;
  • reporting suspected abandoned vehicles;
  • reporting vehicles with no valid tax disc to the DVLA; and
  • checking that non-mobile objects in parking places (e.g. skips) are in compliance with their licence.

AA comment

Commenting, Edmund King, AA president said: "The changes bring some good news for motorists such as limiting wheel clamping to persistent offenders, lower fines for less serious offences, and giving the adjudicators powers to send cases back to local authorities.

"However, the last minute change in the law to allow the serving of parking tickets by post if the ticket was started is worrying. The AA believes in "real-time" tickets not "extra time" tickets and thinks it is crucial that a ticket is completed (not simply started) before the vehicle moves off. The Civil Enforcement Officer will not know if the driver is a Blue Badge holder and the driver will not know a ticket has been issued. Enforcement should be about prohibiting obstructive parking not about postal fines after the event.

"The AA will monitor the situation and will raise any concerns with Transport Minister, Rosie Winterton MP."

Background and more information about the changes

AA Public Affairs - the voice of UK motorists

 

28 February 2008