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Car parking enforcement

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Car parking enforcement is a facet of public and private life in all densely populated countries with advanced infrastructures, in other words, the so-called first-world countries.

To illustrate, it is not highly likely that Somalia boasts much in the way of public or private car parking enforcement, bar possibly in certain minor spots. It is probable, conversely, that the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has well researched and carefully managed car parking enforcement.

With regard to the United Kingdom we are pleased to confirm that a monumental change for the better has taken place. As of the stroke of midnight 30 September/1 October 2012 the widely ranging Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 outlawed the use of:

  • Wheel clamping
  • .
  • Towing away
Of motor vehicles on private land.

In such an advanced country it is not surprising that the rules and regulations regarding public parking which is usually on-street parking are complex. Local authorities manage Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) which are sometimes policed (literally) by the local police service. Owing to alleged relaxed approaches by some but not all police forces the powerful Road Traffic Act 1991 enables unhappy local governments to manage their own CPZs.

Importantly, in this case the local authorities get to keep the fines. In some cases, particularly inner city ones, the additional income streams do wonders for the local authorities’ cash flows.

In the British context, it is not usual for parking offences to be criminal. Part of the reason for this is that in the social hierarchy of that particular country the criminal law is shaped to be a weapon directed at the lower classes while many motorists belong to the higher levels of the pecking order who are not allowed to be called criminals.

This, we maintain, is part of the reason for Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) in England and Wales.

With regard to clamping and towing on private land in England and Wales the 2012 Act has made deep inroads.

The British Parking Association declared: ‘Legislation was passed by the previous Government in 2010 with the intention to regulate vehicle clamping and removals on private land. However during the General Election of 2010, the Liberal Party's manifesto was committed to banning wheel clamping on private land. Upon forming the Coalition Government, this commitment was put into practice with the formulation of the Protection of Freedoms Bill towards the end of 2010.’

That Bill is now an Act and therefore active law.

The landowners’ remedies of clamping and towing away are now illegal under statute. Many property managers responsible for small, medium-scale and large parking areas are no doubt wondering how to deter unwelcome strangers parking without permission within the new laws.

It has come to our attention that the Flashpark company has innovated the groundbreaking technique of parking control its name is now identified with; involves:

  • Digital photography
  • Email
  • Government authority to consult the register of vehicle owners (registered keepers).
This unusual company has been practising the above method even while wheel clamping and towing away were still legal and it has worked well for Flashpark up to now.

The best news, nationally and internationally, is that there are no present or pending patents and anybody anywhere can replicate the system and benefit. In the British context this means property safety and legality can coexist together.

We are sure that the Flashpark method will be copied all over the planet in the fairly near future with, possibly, local variations to suit.