Published On: Wed, May 8th, 2024
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Traffic warden’s 10-minute parking rule which could get you out of £160 fine | Personal Finance | Finance

A private traffic warden has lifted the lid on a parking ticket hack that could help drivers escape a penalty of up to £160.

One worker has revealed that private wardens should leave a 10 minute grace period between taking a picture of an illegally parked car and slapping the ticket on the window.

That 10 minute period can be used by the driver simply to drive off or buy a new parking ticket either from a machine of smartphone parking app, the MailOnline reports.

Councils have been accused of treating drivers as a cash cow through punishing parking penalty notices, which are typically around £50 but can be as much as £160 in London.

Last year saw a record number of £962million worth of fines issued by local councils and the figure is expected to top £1billion this year.

The parking warden, only identified as Stacey based in Canning Town, East London, said she typically cover 12 miles a day.

She is employed by a private firm to patrol privately controlled streets and car parks. This is different from those employed by councils, who are called civil enforcement officers.

She extolled the joys of being a parking warden, saying: “‘I love the sense of freedom this job brings; walking and meeting different people, being part of the community.

“Yes, I issue tickets, but my task is also to help motorists. It is not fair for those that do pay for their parking, or who have a disability and need a particular space to find their bay is stolen.”

She told the Daily Mail that she is not allowed to issue a fine until 10 minutes after taking a picture to confirm the car is not lawfully parked. However, Stacey explained that if you are an hour late or parked on a double line, drivers should not expect any lenience.

The 10 minute grace rule is included in a new Code of Practice adopted by members of the International Parking Community, the British Parking Association, and councils.

According to Stacey, if you arrive and the parking warden has issued the ticket, but not yet presented it, you do still have a chance.

Stacey said you can plead your case, but you should do so politely as it is at the discretion of the operator as to whether they present you with the fine.

She also advised that people who need to stop due to a medical emergency are normally safe from parking fines.

If you are in an emergency, Stacey advises that you should try and leave a note on the windscreen to explain the situation. People who are given a ticket in these circumstances are advised to provide proof of the medical emergency when making an appeal.

If you get a fine in any other circumstances which you believe isn’t warranted, then you should also appeal and include any mitigating circumstances. Stacey says this can include the name of the warden.

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