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Private parking enforcement

Private parking enforcement is one area where contract law and rights overlap. Central and local government can and do (literally) police their vehicle parking facilities in such a way that the motorist realises that parking in certain places results in certain, usually moneywise, consequences.

This whole subject of private parking enforcement, i.e., taking action about persons using ground intended exclusively for private use is used without a by-your-leave from the owner of the property.

The average motorist might think of private parking enforcement in terms of:

  • The wheel clamp
  • Towing away with release subject to a release fee

There is going to be, thanks to the Liberal Democrats, a sea change in the atmosphere of private parking enforcement.

Essentially, the abovementioned party of government is in the process of piloting, as part of the laws safeguarding individual freedom in particular and rights in general, a Bill through Parliament outlawing the hated wheel clamp.

The clamp came to these islands from North America and has been used in their present form since the 1950s, starting with the Denver Clamp.

They have caused terrific aggravation ranging from legal action (often the court upheld the motorist) and verbal aggression to actual physical violence.

We have been searching for alternatives to both aggravations the clamp and the towing option and have identified a promising answer to the problem of deterring the unauthorised parker completely within the law.

One innovative company based in London has decided to use the Internet to practise private parking enforcement.

In a nutshell, the (often modest in scale) property owner spots a vehicle parking on his ground and uses a digital camera to take a snapshot of the vehicle in question such that it identifies both the vehicle with its number plates and its surroundings with, preferably, the warning notice against parking visible.

He/she emails the same to the company and that is all.

Flashpark does everything else. It uses theDVLA it is authorised to have access to, in order to identify the motorist, and sends him/her a fine notice. The property owner gets to have a slice of the fine.

Can you think of a better way of doing it in these conditions? We are interested in your comments.