Image source:

How to Avoid a Parking Ticket

Local authorities and organizations like supermarkets tend now to contract out their car parking services to external companies, and this includes enforcement of parking regulations. Some of this is done on the ground with enforcement officers and some remotely using cameras and ANPR – Automatic Number Plate Recognition, which can identify vehicles and match them to a zero payment record or overstaying their paid slot.

Years ago, it used to be the case that you could outwit a roving traffic warden or sneak ten minutes on a double yellow line, but the advent of digital technology has made this virtually a thing of the past. Removing traffic from city centers for environmental reasons has made parking regulations much more complicated for those who do choose to drive in, and there is no standard format. In essence, every city or urban center will differ. So, if you are driving to an unknown location, how can you inadvertently avoid getting slapped with a nasty parking fine? Our handy guide explains more.

If you are traveling to a large city or busy area, you are not familiar with then ditch the car and take the train or use the park and ride bus services.  You can research the latter easily online and find a service that is located in the geographical area that you will arrive at. Book, pay online, and then turn up and park. City centers are particularly well patrolled, and you can be sure that parking regulations will be rigorously enforced.

Read all the signage carefully.  Parking violations can come in many forms in busy cities, red curb lines, disabled only spaces, causing an obstruction and parking restriction times. Do your research ahead of time online, but always check the location carefully when you get there. If you find unexpected spaces in a busy place, there might be a reason why other motorists haven’t parked in them

Don’t exceed the advertised time limits. Don’t rely on the fact that you can’t see any visible parking officer. Many car parks are managed remotely using cameras which plot your arrival time and departure times so even if you haven’t bought an actual ticket from a machine, you can still overstay your welcome and receive an unwelcome fine through the letterbox
Parking meters. Some locations still use more old-fashioned parking meters. Up goes the cry of, “I need to run back to the car and feed the meter.” Set a timer or reminder on your phone and make sure you don’t exceed your allocated time. Well patrolled areas will find a traffic warden standing there with a watch and handful of parking fines, tapping their feet and just waiting for drivers to go a minute over their allocated slot

Be prepared.  Always keep a little tin of loose change in the glovebox of your car. Many physical parking machines now allow you to insert a debit card to pay or phone and pay, but in remote or rural areas you may find that you still need to use actual coinage

Physical tickets.  Make sure you read the signs carefully, so you display the fare on your windscreen if that is what is required. You may have bought one, but if the parking enforcement officer can’t see it (and they will take a photograph of your car and windscreen in case of a later appeal) then they will still issue a parking fine
Always allow enough time to park.  That is one of the main reasons why motorists end up on the wrong side of the law. If you have an urgent deadline or appointment and the traffic has delayed you, then it is easy to be tempted to dump your car somewhere and face the consequences, but you will almost certainly get spotted, and it could make for a costly day out.

Additional Info

How are parking fines notified?

Image source:

As stated in article 77 of the Traffic Law, as a general rule parking fines must be notified at the time the infraction is committed, that is, they must be handed over to the driver by hand when he has stopped or parked in any of the prohibited areas indicated above. If this is not possible since the driver is not present, the fine will be notified through the electronic system of the General Directorate of Traffic “Road Electronic Address,” or by postal address at the address that the denounced (driver or owner of the car that committed the infraction) provided in the official register.

What data should appear in the notification?

Apart from the signature of the reporting agency, the following information must appear in a notification for a parking violation:

The identification of the vehicle and the driver, and, failing that, of the holder.
The day and time the infraction occurred.
The parking place.
Identity of the reporting agent (license plate number).
A photograph of the badly parked vehicle, in case it is not notified at the moment, but through the Road Electronic Address or at the address of the vehicle owner.

Amount of the sanction imposed

Image source:

The notification must also include the deadline for proposing evidence and making claims since it is the obligation of the administration and not the defendant to mention all possible remedies. On the other hand, in cases where the notification could not be made on the spot, the complaint must include the justification as to why it was not made at the time.

Last but not least, the notification must contain a detailed and concrete description of what are the facts for which it has been fined. Information about wrongful parking violations without detailing why it is improper would not be correct.

When do they prescribe parking tickets?

According to the Law on Traffic, Motor Vehicle Traffic, and Road Safety, minor infractions prescribe after three months, and severe and grave offenses, such as a fine for driving without a license, at six months. Unlike the rest of traffic violations, the statute of limitations for parking tickets starts counting from the moment the infraction is committed. That means that if, for example, you commit a minor offense on January 1 and you are not notified until April, the penalty will have been prescribed because it has been more than three months since you committed it. Of course, the administration reserves the right to interrupt the limitation period if it requires more time to search for the address of the accused.

A little time, care, and planning can ensure you stay on the right side of the parking rules. To view the top parking ticket hotspots.

For more information check:

About Matt Durham