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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

 

Latest news on Parking Enforcement

I’m sitting here in an English West Country Cybercafe writing this entry. I didn’t start off today meaning to spend over an hour doing this, but I have to get it off my hairy chest. I have been allowed just over an hour until Mrs Sticker returns to hoik me off to the beach for a mandatory paddle followed by a nice pub lunch. O tempera! o mores!

Todays little diatribe is based on – yes I know I shouldn’t have done it, watching the half witted nonsense that passes for news on the BBC this morning. How come a ‘news’ organisation can be fed facts, then regurgitate such utter crap? Is there some kind of reality warp in their heads or something? There is no ‘Parking War against Motorists’, it’s a myth, a fallacy. There however is an ongoing battle against the inconsiderate and stupid who insist on treating the law as something they only pay attention to when they can be arsed to do so (Although this is not often); against the ‘Motorist’ – no. If it was a war, we’d be armed better. Got that?

I write of course about the presentation of the governments new guidelines for Parking Enforcement. Something which regular readers of this blog know that I do for a living. I enforce the law pertaining to the local parking regulations. Now remember these words; the Government is issuing new ‘guidelines’ to local authorities. The law has not essentially changed. All else is spin. This is the real stuff from the shop floor folks, not some fairy tale version. Let me spell it out.

On double yellow lines you may not stop except to set down and pick up passengers. Loading and unloading (So long as such activity is observed) is allowed for up to twenty minutes. If loading restrictions are in force, there is no ‘Grace period’ of five minutes observation (Not ten, five. No matter what it says on the telly and your disabled badge is invalid too). The five minute observation time only exists to prove or disprove loading on an active restriction – nothing else. Loading and unloading only applies where the goods being loaded are commercial in nature. This means leaving your bright shiny tin box on double yellows and popping over to the nearest hole in the wall for some pennies does not qualify. Nor do bags of shopping qualify. Mister White van man dropping off or picking up packages is loading. Is that simple enough? Thank you.

Stopping in a bus stop for anyone apart from a Service bus is a big no-no. Loading or not. Likewise taxi ranks (Although we can’t do anything about these – only a Proper Copper or CSO can do these at present – If they want to.). No observation time is necessary.

The appeal / challenge process should be printed on the back of the ticket. Ours already are. No need for any change there. Your ticket will get booted into touch by NPAS if procedures haven’t been followed properly anyway. Mind you, you do have to make the challenge in the first place, no one is going to do it for you.

As for clamping – we don’t do it round here. Twenty minutes over sounds a bit harsh to me, but this will not change this year (2006). In fact none of it will change until next year (2007) when the plan is (Remember that, this is what is ‘planned’, not what will actually happen) to change us all into ‘Civil Enforcement Officers’ where our remit will be broadened to include other things as well as parking. However, don’t take this as gospel, look what happens to a lot of other government plans. Snigger.

See, just the same as always. As for training, we are already specially trained to do our job. You spend a week in the classroom learning the basics, and another month or two ‘buddied up’ with a more experienced officer to learn the anomalies of the various beats you cover before you’re allowed out on your own. Only some of the people like APCOA are reputed to cut corners on training. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, our particular local authority does not cut those corners.

My take on the whole matter is a little biblical, á la ten commandments. For example; ‘Thou shalt not steal’ for example is not conditional, neither is ‘thou shalt not park thy fancy fat Ass where it inconveniences others’.

Ah, rant over. Mrs Sticker has just hove into view and I’m supposed to be on holiday. Byee.

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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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