Wednesday 29 May 2024

Forget parking fines; dish out some real inconvenience…

Fixed penalty notices, the bitter medicine prescribed by the much-loved parking attendants of Great Britain. Yes, I agree that it can be an annoyance when the ticket is issued just minutes after your time is up, but the bottom line is that your time was up. It’s the same story when people park where they shouldn’t; you cannot be angry at getting a ticket because you shouldn’t be parked there. The attendant is only doing their job.

However there are other situations such as parking on double yellow lines which often go unpunished. I believe that it is times like this which create the annoyance when parking tickets are received. On many occasions I have had to wait for a gap to clear so my line of traffic can move around somebody who has parked up on double yellow lines which are obviously there to prevent other drivers facing inconvenience.

Forgive my scepticism but I find it odd how lots of people seem to break down outside takeaways and local shops. Is there a section in the Highway Code which says that parking on double yellow lines is perfectly fine; ensuring you have your hazards on? I don’t recall this being the case, and so I can only presume it must be people in trouble.

Joking aside though, we all know that there have been occasions where it’s been convenient to stop outside the shops and pop in for a loaf and some milk. It saves us the extra minute walk and that is important. We know that parking on double yellow lines will go unpunished and the inconveniencing of a few people is no problem.

Well it is a problem, because this then leads to people parking outside the shops they own or live near. All day. So the inconvenience becomes greater. But still it goes unpunished. Further still, there are always cases in the newspapers of people (most notably footballers) who have parked outside restaurants and watched as a parking attendant issues a ticket. To these people, the £60 or £80 fine is but small change thus they do not care.

Now I believe that fines should be issued for those staying too long or parking in the wrong area, as this is a fair punishment for a disregard of the parking terms. However for those choosing to park on double yellow lines there should be an altogether different consequence.

I have seen the answer. All you need is a claw-like truck which can lift vehicles and land to use for impounding. The idea is simple; any car parked on double yellows and thus causing a hazard is picked up (literally) and taken to a makeshift impound. There is a flat rate charge for having your vehicle towed, as well as an incremental charge per day of it not being collected.

This real success of this scheme is that it adds a lot of inconvenience to the offender. This is what is most likely to prevent repeat offences; having to go and collect my car and pay to have it released would surely make me think twice about where I park.

All in all the system would be useful to help clear the roads of stupidly parked vehicles causing a nuisance making life better for other road users. Furthermore, it ensures that parking laws are enforced consistently. This means that people who get tickets will have less reason to be angry and so there will be fewer angry motorists, making the roads safer too.

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