More good news, as those ludicrous little spy cars, the bounty hunters of the kerbside, are to be banned.
This will please those who are increasingly exasperated by how the CCTV spy cars – driven by the council Traffic Enforcement Officers – appear to believe that they are immune from the rules of the road which they are supposed to be enforcing. Inside Croydon’s loyal reader was in touch recently after they’d snapped one of these penalty fine buggies illegally parked on double yellow lines on Waddon Way, close to the Hilton and the nearby garden centre.
“Commit an offence to detect an offence, I suppose,” as our reader observed.
“The vehicle was there presumably to monitor the asymmetric right of way at the road constriction by the garden centre.
“It was the second day in a row that it was parked in exactly the same location – we didn’t have a camera on that occasion – and our recollection is that it was there the day before, too.
“On the upside, at least he’s not infringing upon the crossing zig-zag!”
On other occasions and in other locations recently, the spy car has been observed parking in such a way on a narrow thoroughfare as to cause traffic hold-ups, as if to goad impatient drivers into committing an offence.
But the opportunities for Croydon’s spy cars to break the law look to be coming to an end.
The Government has announced that the use of CCTV cars is to be banned, preventing councils using the fixed penalty fines as a cash cow.
In future, parking wardens will have to fix tickets directly on to windscreens, making it illegal for councils to issue penalties to drivers using just the CCTV spy cars.
Councils will still be able to use the CCTV to issue postal tickets for any offences that occur on critical routes, such as those near schools and bus lanes, bus stops and on “red routes”.
The Government announced the ban to prevent “over-zealous parking enforcement practices”, to give motorists and local shops a “fairer deal”.
Not for the first time, in Croydon it appears as if the new Labour-run council will be able to harvest the political capital – if not the penalty income – from a decision by the local government and communities minister in the ConDem Government, Eric Pickles.
“CCTV spy cars can be seen lurking on every street raking in cash for greedy councils and breaking the rules that clearly state that fines should not be used to generate profit for town halls,” Pickles said.
“Over-zealous parking enforcement and unreasonable stealth fines by post undermine the high street, push up the cost of living and cost local authorities more in the long-term. The government is taking urgently needed action to ban this clear abuse of CCTV, which should be used to catch criminals, and not as a cash cow.”
Coming to Croydon
- South Norwood Arts Festival, July 5-20
- Basically Johnny Moped at Stanley Tech, July 8
- David Lean Cinema: We Are The Best!, July 10
- Croydon Folk and Blues Festival, July 12
- David Lean Cinema: Half of a Yellow Sun, July 17
- David Lean Cinema: Pantani: Accidental Death of a Cyclist, July 21
- David Lean Cinema: Tracks, July 24
- Fragile, Spread Eagle Theatre, July 24-26
- CODA’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wandle Park, Jul 30-Aug 2
- David Lean Cinema: Locke, July 31
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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