The British government is changing the rules on parking fines in England.
The Northern Irish Secretary of State for Transport, Ruth Kelly, and her 3 Ministers for Transport (two of which are Scottish of course) are introducing changes to the rules in England so that variable rates of parking fines can be implemented and to remove the requirement for traffic wardens to physically attach a ticket to a vehicle meaning that tickets can be written out and issued after the offence has occurred or from CCTV images.
The problem with this is that it could take a couple of weeks for a parking ticket to eventually arrive and can you remember where you were at, say, 9.38 in the morning a week last Saturday? I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday, let alone a fortnight ago, so how do you defend yourself?
And this still doesn’t address the core problem with the parking fines system which is that summary justice is illegal in England. The Bill of Rights says that “and promise of fine or forfeiture before conviction is illegal and void”.
Traffic wardens and “parking attendents” are not judges, the street is not a court of law and neither is a CCTV control centre. Parking fines are only legal if the accused has been convicted in a court of law. We need the legal system to protect our constitutional rights, not to make it easier for companies and local authorities to issue illegal and unconstitutional on-the-spot fines.