Policing powers for parking attendants

PUBLISHED: 11:10 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

PARKING attendants in the St Albans district could be given new powers to hand out fines to motorists who commit moving traffic offences. Attendants will be able to impose £70 fines for 28 traffic offences including not giving way when oncoming traffic ha

PARKING attendants in the St Albans district could be given new powers to hand out fines to motorists who commit moving traffic offences.

Attendants will be able to impose £70 fines for 28 traffic offences including not giving way when oncoming traffic has priority, making a prohibited u-turn and driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

The new powers will be made available to all local authorities under the Traffic Management Act 2004, which is to be introduced on March 31 to create a single framework in England for parking enforcement.

St Albans District Council is to decide whether to give their attendants the power to enforce moving offences at a forthcoming car-parking working party.

Under the changes, attendants will be renamed Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs).

If it goes ahead in St Albans, CEOs would be given a marked Smart car equipped with CCTV cameras that would go around the district filming traffic offences.

The aim of letting CEOs deal with certain traffic rules is to reduce the burden on police officers who enforce them at the moment.

Other powers will enable CEOs to give motorists fines via the post without putting a ticket on their car provided that there is photographic evidence of the infringement. That is to prevent motorists driving off before an attendant can give them a fine.

A new two-tier fines system will operate, giving bigger £70 fines for more serious offences and smaller £50 fines for lesser ones. At the moment motorists pay £60 for a contravention.

Shake-up

The introduction of the Traffic Management Act is part of a national shake-up of the parking enforcement system by the Department for Transport (DfT) which the Government maintains will make parking fairer and clearer as well as keep the roads unclogged.

A spokesperson for the council said they would keep their options open and changes would be discussed at the car parking working party before any decisions were made.

Drivers given fines for moving offences would have the opportunity to refer their case to the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal and they would have their fine discounted to £35 if it was paid within 14 days, he pointed out.

He added that the introduction of the two-tier fines system was likely to lose the council around £3,000 in revenue.

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