Clamping Down on the Clampers

RAC suggests use of private firms could breach human rights

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The private clamping of cars could be illegal and a breach of human rights according to the RAC Foundation.

The motoring body says sometimes "exorbitant" fines are demanded without legal process and it wants to see laws changed.

Private clampers are not the same as council parking attendants who look after on-street parking and public car parks. They have the right, on behalf of the landowner, to clamp a vehicle and charge the owner for the clamp to be removed.

The Home Office is proposing a new system of regulation under which both individual clampers and their company have to be accredited and vetted.

They would have to introduce an appeals procedure for drivers who believe they have been unfairly treated

In the RAC Foundation's report, barrister Dr Chris Elliot says clamping by such companies could breach human rights. He says: "It is arguable that, if the release fee is unreasonable, their actions are incompatible with the Human Rights Act 1998, which demands that punishment should only come after a proper legal process."

The RAC wants someone to challenge the law in court, or for the government to set out new legislation to legitimise clamping.

 

July 11, 2009

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