Fight Your Parking Fines
You might not know that you have the right to challenge an unfair penalty and have it seen by an independent adjudicator. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal statistics show that currently over 60% of appeals consequence in the motorist not having to pay the penalty, so if you know you’re in the right it is worth alluring.
Councils now have the strength to issue tickets by post within 28 days, so there’s a good chance you won’t get the ticket for several weeks after the alleged offence and consequently possibly lose the chance to get evidence together to defend yourself. But try not to be too disheartened. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal say that the burden of proof is on the council who must show on balance of probabilities that a parking offence occurred.
Things to know about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)
Lots of changes have come in recently including a name change for traffic wardens to the very official sounding title of civil enforcement officers. Councils now have to include information about how to allurement against the tickets so make sure you use this information!
The owner is liable. Unlike a speeding ticket it doesn’t matter if you weren’t driving the car when the PCN was issued, if you’re the owner you are liable (unless your car was stolen). If a council rufuses your challenge they now have to offer you the chance to pay the fine at a 50 per cent discount rate for a further 14 days, but you lose this chance if you decide to allurement.
According to new website Patrol-UK (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London) there are several grounds for alluring against a PCN:
- The information on the PCN is wrong or incomplete
- The parking offence didn’t occur (for example you weren’t on a yellow line, you were loading, you had a pay-and-characterize ticket but it wasn’t seen)
- There were exceptional circumstances
- There are powerful reasons
How to challenge a ticket
- Contact the local council as soon as you receive the PCN, state your case in detail and include a copy of any evidence such as a pay-and-characterize ticket, or a delivery observe if you were loading.
- If they reject your challenge they will send you a Notice to Owner which you can use to make your representations in writing against the PCN (it must be within 28 days of receiving the notice).
- If rejected by the council they will send you a Notice of Rejection explaining why.
- Along with this Notice of Rejection you’ll receive an allurement form which you can then use to allurement to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal again within 28 days.
- If you need help try allurement Now who specialise in helping motorists with parking fines. You can register with them and lodge an allurement within five minutes.
Once at this stage you can either have a personal hearing, telephone hearing or a postal hearing. Remember that there is no charge for bringing an allurement to an adjudicator.
- Personal hearings: this is usually held in a community building like a library and lasts about 20 minutes. It’s not a courtroom and things are pretty informal so you won’t need a lawyer. An independent adjudicator will listen to the evidence of both you and the council representative and you will usually hear the adjudicator’s decision at the end of the hearing. You’ll also be sent written reasons for the outcome within 10 working days.
- Telephone hearings: you may be offered a hearing by telephone, via conference call which should also last about 20 minutes.
- Postal hearings: if both you and the council agree, the adjudication can take place by post and a decision will be made by an adjudicator from written submissions and documents.
Or…get someone else to pay for your ticket!
A great website called Majicari asks people to send in stories about receiving a parking ticket. You simply submit your story to the website explaining why you think you deserve to have the cost of your ticket paid for, perhaps you were doing a good deed or maybe your story has a funny twist to it. Your story will be put on to their websites for readers to vote for a winner, so make sure you email as many people you know as possible and beg them to go online and vote for your story. If you win, the website will email you, confirm your details and send you a cheque!