Mike Waters' blog: 10 February 2011 - Park smart or risk a fine
10 February 2011
Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.
The job of the traffic warden has been around for more than 50 years. and they're not getting much more popular I'm afraid. No one likes being caught out or left out of pocket so the nature of the job is always liable to upset some people. However, the majority of drivers will respect the work that traffic wardens do, and if they get caught breaking parking laws, most will hold their hands up.
However, what really gets drivers backs up is injustice - when they are being fined through what they perceive as no fault of their own. I had an issue myself last year when despite using a RINGO system to park, I was given a ticket. Despite paying to park I had fallen foul of ambiguous signage that did not clearly indicate the boundaries of the car park.
What my example shows is that there is little leniency when it comes to parking tickets and you must follow the letter of the law or risk getting one. That's why Government figures show that traffic wardens issue over 10 million tickets in England and Wales every year which generates around £781 million.
It was interesting to learn recently that when it comes to parking fines, the vast majority of us don't challenge the ticket, even when we think that we are in the right. Having been through the experience myself, I can see why. It takes time and effort and as a result its no surprise that recent research from noparkingfine.co.uk shows that only 1% of drivers will challenge a fine.
What's also clear is that my example is in no way isolated. There are numerous examples of where drivers up and down the country have picked up tickets because of things like unclear road markings or obscured signage which have led them to park illegally, often without knowing it.
The rules are there for a reason, often our convenience and safety, and traffic wardens will enforce them. The upshot is that drivers must be smart about where they park and aware of their surroundings. Prevention is always better than cure so if you are thinking of parking somewhere that is, or feels like it might be illegal, its always best not to.
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