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Control of private parking organisations

Comment 6th July 2010

A "scam" which is operated by private parking organisations is that of trying to charge full parking fines not just for persons who have parked without paying but also for persons who have paid but whose ticket has for some good reason not been properly displayed, eg, because it has fallen off the windscreen or dashboard. The "fine" levied for non-payment may or may not be fair (that raises other issues), but the levying of the same fine where the driver can prove – by production of relevant receipt – that payment had been made is disproportionate and unreasonable. The law should provide that it is a criminal offence for a parking organisation to seek to recover any sum from a driver where the driver has proved that the relevant parking fee was paid.

Why does this matter?

It is likely that this form of conduct already constitutes a criminal offence under existing consumer protection regulations, but this type of fine is levied regularly and most people meekly pay it. By imposing a specific offence of this type, it would prevent such unfair fines from being sought.

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