Thursday, 9 December 2010

Can snow suspend parking restrictions?

If you do receive a ticket for parking your car on a double yellow line but the lines weren’t visible due to snow then, unless there was clear signage or road markings to notify the motorist that there were restrictions in place, you should have a valid defence.

You may think that the snow would mean that parking wardens would stay at home. However, since 2008, notices have been capable of being issued from CCTV evidence which do not require human input in catching the offending drivers. In order to appeal against a ticket issued in such circumstances, photographic evidence that shows the hidden double yellow lines and lack of signage can help.

The difficulty you may face as a result of the parking laws introduced a couple of years ago is that it is lawful for the council to send a ticket to you several weeks after the alleged contravention making it impossible for you to gather the necessary evidence to appeal the ticket.

In the extreme weather conditions we have suffered this December, it would be a defence for a motorist to argue that snow made it impossible to see or adhere to parking restrictions. The difficulty you may face is being able to present specific and accurate evidence of these conditions if you don’t receive a ticket until after the alleged contravention.

You could refer to weather reports on the day and hope this would be sufficient but as the new parking regime is still relatively new, only time will tell if local authorities will pursue motorists when extreme weather conditions were in place.

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