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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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Ever been clamped? The process is set to be overhauled

A new Bill seeks to regulate release fees and introduce a complaints process.

Image: Clamped/Shutterstock

TRANSPORT MINISTER PASCHAL Donohoe has introduced a Bill that will regulate clamping across public and private property.

Under the proposed legislation, the National Transport Authority (NTA) will be in charge of regulating clamping activities.

This means that the NTA will set maximum release fees, ensure appropriate signage is provided in areas where clamping is carried out, and establish an appeals and complaints system.

Donohoe described the Vehicle Clamping Bill 2014 as “an important piece of legislation which will deal with an issue which has long proved an irritant for motorists”.

I believe most motorists appreciate that clamping can be a necessary part of enforcing parking control measures.

However, when it comes to clamping, the area of greatest annoyance and disquiet to the motoring public is often the variation and inconsistent clamp release charges currently being applied in privately owned car parks.

Speaking in the Seanad, the minister noted that as road space and parking facilities are “a limited resource” they need to be “managed for the benefit of all road users”.

The main points of the Bill are as follows:

  • The NTA will regulate all clamping activities
  • Maximum clamp release charges on private lands will be set
  • A two-tier appeals process will be established
  • Clear and prominent signage must be visible in areas where clamping is operated
  • Codes of practice will be established to provide practical guidance regarding compliance with regulatory requirements
  • The means of identification to be carried, displayed and presented by clamping operatives will be regulated

Fines

The Bill states that in an area where no maximum charges have been prescribed by the NTA, the clamp release charge will be €100 and the vehicle relocation charge will be €50.

A person who imposes, or attempts to impose, clamp release or vehicle relocation charges greater than the set maximum charges is liable to be fined up to €4,000.

A parking controller who fails to provide the required signage commits an offence and is liable to pay a fine of up to €2,500.

The Bill does not provide for the registration and licensing of clamping operators and the associated vetting of staff employed by clamping operators.

Donohoe said he hoped the Bill would be law by the end of the year.

Read: 338 cars clamped in Dublin for parking in disabled space in first half of year

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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