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Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Getting off a Parking ticket

We’ve all done it. Stopped on double or single yellows longer than we should during a restricted period. Hung around in a parking bay without buying a ticket. Dropped off passengers on a ‘Red Route’ or clearway with only the slightest twinge of conscience. Maybe even stopped on a Taxi rank to get a bottle of plonk from the off licence. When you come out you find you’ve had a parking ticket slapped on your pride and joy from one of the new Local Authority Traffic, Parking, Patrol, Enforcement, Officers, Attendants, Ambassador, Warden or whatever and you don’t feel justice has been done. What do you do then?
Say that the new fangled Traffic Warden has you apparently bang to rights, you can still challenge or appeal the fine and stand a good chance of getting away with it. Just keep your head and follow the rules laid out below.

Rule 1: Do not under any circumstances, act aggressively, swear, complain, threaten or try to turn the issuing officers lights out. You’re just wasting your time and theirs. Any challenge you might make to the ticket after you have acted in this way will automatically get thrown out. Be nice, even if the officer insults you (Which he / she won’t – these guys are picked and trained to be cooler than a large tub of Ben & Jerrys.).

Rule 2: Do not try to get the Traffic Warden to take the ticket back – they can’t.

Rule 3: Do listen carefully to anything the Traffic Warden says. If what he /she tells you isn’t absolutely 100% true this may be your ‘get off the ticket’ excuse. Write down, verbatim, or record anything he / she says. If push comes to shove this is evidence that might save you the cost of the fine.

Rule 4: Do have a good look at them. Are they properly dressed and clearly identifiable as a Parking Enforcement Officers? If, for example an officer is not clarly wearing their patrol number / hat etc then you may be able to wriggle out of it at the NPAS stage.

Rule 5: Do have a good look around at the road markings – Are they clear and complete? Look at the signs at the side of the road detailing the parking or stopping restriction. Do they contradict each other? Take a photograph if at all possible. Collect evidence. Take your time (But not too much – on Red routes they are pretty quick at towing your vehicle away. That costs more than a parking ticket to get out of.)

Rule 6: Do keep the ticket. Don’t throw it away in a fit of pique. This is your evidence that one has been issued. Wait until you get home and have had time to cool off before checking the details. Read it carefully and follow the instructions for challenge precisely.

  1. Write a polite letter to the issuing authority detailing why you should not have to pay the fine. State your reasons for believing this to be true and send in copies of any relevant photographs, transcripts of what was said at the time, confusing road markings, evidence of breakdown or being told to stop by a Uniformed Police officer or Traffic Warden (Don’t forget to take their patrol number if this happens.). Don’t send in a work of fiction. You won’t be believed but your extravagant claims might be passed around the office to lighten the dark winter months. Even Traffic Wardens like a good laugh sometimes.
  2. Send the letter in immediately. Don’t wait for postal notification to arrive.
  3. If you don’t think you’ve got a snowflakes chance in hell, coughing up early generally gets you a 50% discount on the fine.
  4. Trying to forget all about it is a bad move as the issuing authority will simply send it via Northampton County Court who will set the bailiffs on you if you don’t pay the fine. These guys will impound your vehicle if they can.
  5. Wait a couple of weeks after you have sent your letter. You should receive one back from the issuing authority either stating that your claim has been upheld or that the fine still stands.
  6. If the fine still stands – don’t panic. You will still only have to pay the fine at its discounted amount.
  7. Or you can go to the next stage of the process which is;
  • Contact NPAS, the National Parking Adjudication Service. Write them a nice reasonable polite letter detailing why you think that the parking ticket should not have been issued. Don’t forget to send them a copy of statements and photographs etc.
  • Wait two weeks. You should by now have a letter from NPAS telling you whether the fine has been upheld or not. If not, then you can breathe a sigh of relief and try not to be caught in future.
  • If they have upheld the ticket you do have the option of going to judicial review but this involves solicitors and will cost you a lot more money, time and effort than the parking ticket would have done in the first place. Not really worth the candle unless you are a specialist solicitor of course.
  • You still, even at this late stage have the option of paying up at the discounted rate.

    A few examples of dodgy road markings include;
  • Improperly terminated double yellow lines
  • Top dressing obscuring double yellow lines
  • Obscured road markings (Leaves, snow etc.)
  • Dirty or illegible parking signage
  • White on blue parking restriction signs (NPAS generally throws these out.)
  • The old dashed single yellow line is now meaningless.
  • Remember that if the signs and road markings are not exactly as the Highway Code dictates you may just get away with it.
  • Spend a few pennies at W.H.Smith or your local book shop on a copy of the Highway code and read it carefully.
  • Get in touch with your local Council and ask to see copies of the Traffic Regulation Order for the location you got the parking ticket. Does that match the signs and road markings? If the yellow lines and restriction plates don’t match, this may also invalidate the parking restriction or at least make it unenforceable. Have a good look at the position of the signs too; if they don’t match the road markings or are difficult to see or read you stand a good chance of making a successful challenge or appeal against the fine.

Oh yes. One last thing - You didn't find out from me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, love the site. Just read this post though, if the signs and lines don't conform wouldn't you already know about it, being in "the trade" so to speak, so is it your bosses that make you issue tickets in these areas where you may know they are wrong

Monday, January 08, 2007 6:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, website's well worth it as so many people hate this legalised crime of ripping motorists off. It'd be nice if someone could find out more on the rules a traffic warden has to follow because I'm sure many of them abuse them e.g. waiting by your car until the ticket runs out.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 2:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It'd be nice if someone could find out more on the rules a traffic warden has to follow because I'm sure many of them abuse them e.g. waiting by your car until the ticket runs out."

Surely your time would be better spent reading up on the rules motorist have to follow then you would not get a ticket in the first place. An expired ticket is an expired ticket, the Warden can wait the whole day by your car if he has nothing better to do. If you are that worried pay for longer or buy a better watch!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007 6:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats bullshit $120 fine for parking in the wrong spot for 2mins hes lucky i didnt see him !!!! get a real job cabinet maker or something

Thursday, July 12, 2007 12:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

see the videos of this guy in new york who fights aginst the traffic cops.he is youtube for jimmy justice or follow this link.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:36:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you got to see the crazy videos of this guy in new york that fights against the parking ticket writers.He is hillarious.Search youtube for Jimmy Justice or follow this link

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:40:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ive recently got a ticket for exceeding a time limit (an hour)

something unexpected happened which is why i left the car there so long

but basicly, could they have proof i was there for an hour?

Thursday, May 22, 2008 2:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently got a parking ticket, whilst displaying a blue badge. Questioned taffic warden and was told i was in a high street that only allows you to park at certain times....... even with your badge, i was 10mins over that time.... oophs.... i found her very rude and extremly arrogant, i had only asked her why i was given a ticket..... so drivers be warned if you are visiting fife... and you are disabled make sure you only need to park or use the high street on the correct days!!!!! as a certain female 2 foot nothing traffic warden is waiting to pounce... ( ive checked and its her usual haunt......)hope she never needs a badge, as she seems to have a issue with the drivers that have to use them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 8:34:00 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

I recently got a parking ticket for an expired meter. The baffling part is: it was NOT expired! (O_o) Unfortunately for me, I didn't think of whipping out my camera phone to take a picture, so now I'm stuck with a $25 ticket.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 9:29:00 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

I recently got a ticket for being parked oppisite of traffic. However, I was in a drive way and the road is not divided into 2 separate lanes. Also, the police officer copied my zip code down wrong. Will I be able to get this dismissed?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 1:33:00 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

This might be the best guide EVER to follow for dealing with parking tickets and contesting. You give excellent perspective from the officer's side.

Too many people think they can get out of things by being really upset. I've never understood that. If you really think you have a chance at getting out of a ticket, don't act like you're entitled to it. You must appeal to the ticket clerk's compassionate side.

I lived in Chicago for 8 years and got out of several tickets. I have a little blog of my own so I wrote an article about what I do as well. It's a little different than this entry but could be helpful. It has my normal letter that I write in it.

My article is here -

Thanks for the great writeup!

Thursday, April 30, 2009 8:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Australian Subject said...

The following information is based on my own research and knowledge of our Australian Law. The author and publisher disclaim all liabilities in connection with the use of this information.

At the end of this article is a link to a parking fine letter which you could try sending to the council in regards to all parking fine in Australia. It basically asks the council afew simple questions to verify that they have permission to collect a tax from you for using public roads.

Simply put, they do not have any authority to hand out parking tickets, and more than anything rely on your voluntary compliance, ignorance and consent to hand over your hard earned cash to these corrupt business. Now days prosecuting officers are trained to reply to such letters with false arguments because they have absolutely no clue of the real laws or hoping you don’t. They are masters at intimidating the public with lies.

Also note that time measuring devices (meters) are exempt from the provisions of the National Measurement Act 1960 (Cth), so we cannot use this argument in our letters. This has been confirmed by Dr Richard Brittain from the National Measurement Institute.

It can be quite frightening to be challenging such large corporations, but we must remember that only a chapter 3 Commonwealth court (see your Australian Constitution) has full jurisdiction to act judicially, so we must put our trust in the system that was designed to protect our rights. The most important aspect is expression of compassion towards these people. We must learn not to hate or argue with them, for this is what they want from us. Our notices should be an educational instrument asking honest questions and proof of claim, without any prejudice towards these everyday ordinary people who work for these corporations.

I am always trying to teach and educate people with the true laws in Australia. I tell everyone I speak to that it’s a very valuable learning experience challenging councils and even the police force (the proper way).

Truth shall prevail

Friday, September 11, 2009 10:09:00 pm  

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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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