Government to ban CCTV parking enforcement

June 23, 2014 | By | In News

They’ve become an increasingly popular way of easily enforcing parking restrictions, but local authority powers to use controversial CCTV camera cars are to be curbed, under new Government plans.

The use of both static and mobile CCTV systems to issue fines to motorists has been heavily criticised, with motoring groups claiming drivers are being used as a cash cow, to prop up shrinking town hall budgets.

Now, however, the practice is to be banned, with councils instead having to rely on traffic wardens to issue penalties by fixing them to drivers’ windscreens, rather than simply popping them in the post.

Nine million parking fines are now issued annually in England alone and the new measures are designed to put a stop to “over-zealous parking enforcement practices”.

"Over-zealous parking enforcement and unreasonable stealth fines by post undermine the high street, push up the cost of living and cost local authorities more in the long term."

However, the use of cameras will still be allowed to monitor the correct use of bus lanes and red routes, as well as parking near schools.

Announcing the ban, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "CCTV spy cars can be seen lurking on every street raking in cash for greedy councils and breaking the rules that clearly state that fines should not be used to generate profit for town halls.

"Over-zealous parking enforcement and unreasonable stealth fines by post undermine the high street, push up the cost of living and cost local authorities more in the long term."

Those opposing the ban state that CCTV enforcement stops drivers parking both illegally and dangerously, benefitting vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Further parking measures announced by Government include a freeze on the cost of a fixed penalty ticket, a 25 per cent discount on fines for those who appeal unsuccessfully. Local residents will also now be able to demand a review of parking restrictions in their area.

Have you ever been caught out by a CCTV camera car? Do you think they are an effective method of parking enforcement? Have your say below.

Picture: Flickr/Jeff Easter

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