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Council parking ‘spy car’ gets speeding ticket

Tue, 04 Feb 2014

A council-owned ‘spy car’ designed to catch people parking their vehicles unlawfully has been snapped travelling over the speed limit.

Dorset police officers recorded the parking enforcement camera car travelling at 36mph in a 30mph area, handing the driver a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points on their licence, according to the Bournemouth Echo.

On Bing: see pictures of camera cars

Cameras to catch illegal parking on the school run

The speeder was given the option of attending a £110 speed awareness course, however, which could mean the motorist manages to evade the points.

It seems that the tables were turned on the Poole Council employee, with the police catching them in the act.

Traffic manager, Steve Tite, confirmed that Poole Council had indeed received a speeding ticket, adding:

“We will be speaking with the individual concerned.”

The council-operated camera cars used to enforce parking laws are not exactly popular and have been met with criticism, with a number of motorists branding them as revenue raising devices.

Looking at the figures, it’s hard to ignore their point – Conservative party data suggests these moving camera cars have contributed towards the £301 million worth of fines over the last five years.

This equates to more than 10 million individual cases, with one third of all parking fines issued using CCTV footage as evidence.

MSN Cars reported last year that these surveillance vehicles could be outlawed by as early as Easter this year.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles announced back in October 2013 that he wanted to “rein in over-zealous and unfair rules.”

While local councils argue that the camera cars improve road safety in built-up areas, focusing particularly on schools, playgrounds and parks, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has rebuffed this argument, highlighting the technology is detrimental to town centre businesses.

This is part of a wider proposal by McLoughlin, including:

1 ) Banning fixed parking cameras and mobile car surveillance devices, only allowing traffic wardens to issue parking tickets

2 ) Publishing “open data” on parking

3 ) Updating parking laws/guidelines to aid town centre shop owners

4 ) Improving the appeals process and “rights of redress” for individuals who are fined innapropriately

5 ) Putting an end to “unacceptable and aggressive parking fine collection practices”

6 ) Reviewing all “unnecessary” single- and double-yellow lines

Whether or not the mobile CCTV cars will be banned in time for Easter is not yet clear, although it’s looking increasingly unlikely. UK motorists could be stuck with them for a while yet.

What do you think of these CCTV-equipped parking ‘spy cars’?

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