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Private car park signs

Private car park signs are in the law of England and Wales absolutely the centre of parking enforcement in those two countries.

In that region Common Law had, prior to the advent of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, allowed both the wheel clamp and the tow.

Even then, court cases ranging from celebrated House of Lords rulings to county court mini-dramas all over the country concentrated hugely on the visibility of private car park signs.

There is a legal rule that states that ignorance of the law is no excuse (ignorantia juris haud excusat) but that most usually applies to matters relating to the criminal law although civil law is included.

Nevertheless, there are limits to that particular doctrine and judges had ruled that private car park signs had to be reasonably visible to the driver for the implied contractual terms of the 'acceptance' of the parking space to seal the deal, so to speak.

There are several ways of categorising private car park signs, One is to differentiate between the ones that just convey that the parking is restricted to certain persons only without penalty and the ones that notify about a penalty.

Walking around the streets of England and Wales usually reward with the sight of ever so many private car park signs usually of the 'PRIVATE - NO PARKING' and similar variety. These landowners have not contracted with parking enforcement professionals who possess the means of lawful negative conditioning.

It is a sad reflection on human nature that, among other vices, many or most people refuse to be considerate 'do unto others as you would have them do to you' types. Conversely, a huge proportion of the general population will only be 'nice' to unprotected, weak and isolated individuals and groups if they are made to behave with punishments of varying kinds and severities.

Since the Royal Automobile Club with the assistance of two women Home Office ministers got its way on 1 October 2012 and got clamping and towing on and from private land legally banned the property owning classes have had to face the question of what to do to deter.

The company Flashpark that is based in England and operates throughout England and Wales has innovated a revolutionary parking enforcement system that requires:

  1. Access to the Internet
  2. Possession of a digital camera
  3. Adequate signage

The landowner takes a snapshot of the offending vehicle with one or more appropriately placed warning signs included and emails the same to Flashpark. The company, being authorised to do so by the government, consults the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority to identify the 'registered keeper' and charges the same.

There is more to it than that but that will do for a nutshell understanding.

The method has worked brilliantly for Flashpark and we are confident that the methodology will be emulated (with local variations) all over the civilised world where motor vehicle density is a problem.

The best news is that there are no patents actual or pending (it is too generalistic for a patent) so anybody anywhere can do it without paying a cent/penny to anybody.