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Motorists need more information on their parking rights

posted Nov 26, 2012, 2:52 AM by Simon Kirkman
Ninety-one per cent of people are unaware that from today 1 October they are required by law to provide details of the driver of any vehicle wrongfully parked on private land, according to the IAM’s latest poll.

Half of motorists are uninformed that consumer rights are different depending on whether a parking ticket is issued by a private company or by a local council.

Knowledge of other changes is also scarce – 89 per cent of people are not aware of the imminent launch of an independent appeals service for those who wish to contest tickets for parking on private land.

Over 50 per cent of people don’t know that the DVLA is legally obliged to sell individuals’ vehicle license information to private parking operators to allow them to chase unpaid tickets. 72 per cent of respondents think that this is unacceptable, and many believe that it should be in breach of the Data Protection Act.

From 1 October, wheel clamping by private companies will become illegal in England and Wales, yet 33 per cent of people are uninformed of the details of this change and 35 per cent are completely oblivious to it. 91 per cent of people think that this is a positive change.
Other results show:
·89 per cent of people think it is unfair that there is no limit on how much a private car park can charge for a civil penalty parking ticket
·According to those who have received a parking ticket (10 per cent of respondents), the most likely reason for it being issued is overstaying the time paid for or overstaying the free parking period
·Of those who have been issued a ticket, 50 per cent thought it was unfair, most of whom felt so because they were not aware that they were in an area that required payment
·60 per cent of people paid their ticket

Generally, people find parking tickets and the procedures associated with them on private land unfair and unacceptable. Responses show that the majority of people are uninformed about the law surrounding these parking tickets and particularly about the changes due to take place in October.

Motorists need to know who they can turn if they feel that they have been treated unfairly. The new system has potential to deliver a fair parking system, but only if the industry ensures that the spirit of the legislation is enacted as well as the detail. Any remaining rogue operators must be dealt with swiftly.

Road users need to understand the rules of parking in order to abide by them, and industry and government information about the new system is woefully inadequate.