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Council liability in RTA cases?


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Given that Cran v Camden BC states the objective of civil parking/traffic enforcement is "100% compliance without penalties" does a council have some kind of 'duty of care' towards the public to meet this? Specifically, it is claimed that mobile CCTV units are deployed as a "visible deterrent". If the enforcement tactics are seen to favour making such vehicles insufficiently conspicuous, e.g. minimal visible markings from driver's PoV, parking where the car in not visible to potential offenders, could this been seen as contributory negligence; given they know that this will not maximise deterrence and thus offences are likely to occur? Should the reason for the restriction be safety, is it not reasonably foreseeable that an accident and thus an injury might occur? To what extent would it affect the situation if the council were put on notice that their vehicles were not deployed for deterrence and/or that signs/markings were non-compliant/insufficient?

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I think it's more black and white. Apart from uniform requirements, the issue is simply whether a contravention was committed or not.

 

Visible deterents are a sideline issue and just a PR issue. The only overlap I can think of is when councils publicly state a set of rules e.g. on their website, and then they ignore them. Match day and event restrictions might come under this scenario.

 

The only rule is that councils must make any restrictions clear. But these are the usual traffic restrictions, not enforcement visibility.

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I think it's more black and white. Apart from uniform requirements, the issue is simply whether a contravention was committed or not.

 

Visible deterents are a sideline issue and just a PR issue. The only overlap I can think of is when councils publicly state a set of rules e.g. on their website, and then they ignore them. Match day and event restrictions might come under this scenario.

 

The only rule is that councils must make any restrictions clear. But these are the usual traffic restrictions, not enforcement visibility.

 

Exactly and compliance is also increased due to the issuing of PCNs by cctv, covert or overt it makes no difference if the driver thinks they may get a PCN even though they cannot see a CEO compliance goes up. You only have to look at Bus Lanes to see the effect that cctv has had on drivers, pre cctv drivers used to risk it if there was no police about but now the compliance is very high. Locally there are several bus lanes that don't even have cameras but compliance is still high due to the fear of a PCN.

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So you are saying that CCTV traffic enforcement is "directed surveillance" under RIPA ?

 

No that is the point the use of cctv in a public place on non specific targets is not covered by RIPA. If a particular target was the subject of the operation such as a suspected blue badge fraudster then RIPA would be relevant but for general cctv its not.

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Check the driver's PoV and what people say on the vid. I think they would be hard pressed to make it less visible to approaching drivers.

 

Stop by Valmar Rd any day to see a perfect example of covert operation.

 

PS G&M, you disagree with everything don't you? :wink:

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hidden smart car behind a transit. yes it is.

 

It is only hidden if you are standing behind the transit, if you are making an 'illegal' right turn you are meant to use your mirrors in which case you would see it, as you would also do when you drive past it. Personally I wouldn't care if they did hide the car trying to take the moral high ground when carrying out something that is against the law and clearly signed is ridiculous. I love the logic of the 'no to bike tax' campaigner moaning that they are allowed to park on the DYL as its 'one rule for them and one rule for us' whilst campaigning that car drivers should pay to park but bikes should park free......pot calling kettle!

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G&M, I have pointed the CCTV cars out to motorists and pedestrians alike and many still fail to notice them or realise what they are until they look very closely. Odd that every other council vehicle intended to be visible is lit up like Blackpool illuminations but CCTV cars aren't. I can't believe you are so disingenuous not to see blatant profiteering when you see it.

 

Cars are generally penalised in urban areas as too many are considered a bad thing due to the problems of parking them and the congestion they cause. M/cs suffer neither of these problems to any major extent. AFAIK, all other European cities see them as the only motorised personal transport solution to these problems and thus seek to encourage them by providing more free parking. That aside, I object overall to the way parking has become an industry and is used illegally to generate revenue for councils, rather than work for the benefit and safety of the public they serve.

 

PS I never said I was perfect :pray: It just looks that way :-)

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G&M, I have pointed the CCTV cars out to motorists and pedestrians alike and many still fail to notice them or realise what they are until they look very closely. Odd that every other council vehicle intended to be visible is lit up like Blackpool illuminations but CCTV cars aren't. I can't believe you are so disingenuous not to see blatant profiteering when you see it.

 

Cars are generally penalised in urban areas as too many are considered a bad thing due to the problems of parking them and the congestion they cause. M/cs suffer neither of these problems to any major extent. AFAIK, all other European cities see them as the only motorised personal transport solution to these problems and thus seek to encourage them by providing more free parking. That aside, I object overall to the way parking has become an industry and is used illegally to generate revenue for councils, rather than work for the benefit and safety of the public they serve.

 

PS I never said I was perfect :pray: It just looks that way :-)

 

I think you will find as confirmed by a recent high court case charging motorcycles to park is not illegal. You seem to be confusing parking enforcement and paid for parking, there is no reason that Councils cannot charge for parking and why not I have to pay for public transport why should I subsidise car drivers? You also seem to be missing the point about a visible deterrent the cars are a visible presence on the street which is a deterrent. Drivers see the cars about, become aware of their purpose and it makes them re consider what they do. I commute by train and see ticket inspectors on the train, it is a visible deterrent even though I have already passed the point at which I choose to buy a ticket. Next time I travel I will remember seeing them and it will deter me from travelling without paying. Your argument would be that they should stand at the ticket machine and deter people from travelling which is fine but a fare evader will either avoid travelling or pay on that occasion which will have little effect on compliance on the whole network. Compliance comes from never knowing when the revenue protection officer will turn up. On a traffic enforcement front it is the same Westminster cannot place a car on every restriction within the whole borough which is why they are mobile. Compliance will come from the fear that if you decide to make an illegal turn you may be caught on camera. The whole point of the penalty system is that is a deterrent that is used in combination with road signs complaining that you got caught because you didn't see the camera is no defence. If you consider speeding would you really complain if you got pulled over doing 100mph by an unmarked car? Would a shoplifter have a right to complain if they got caught by a plain clothes store detective? No one gets tricked into doing wrong its a rational choice made by the person doing it and one of the prinary deciding factors is the likely hood of getting caught. The car in you video is doing a good job its penalising those that have elected to ignore the road signs and to others that see it doing so reminds them that cctv enforcement takes place and makes them reconsider not complying at a future date.

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http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/.a/6a0120a57e35a3970b013486485ea3970c-250wi

 

and don't think council CCTV only used for PCNs

The DVLA database is handy for them for all kinds of uses

http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/home/2010/08/index.html

 

Local councils in dodgy DVLA database deception

 

Local councils across the UK have been barred from using the DVLA’s database and many more have received official warnings after they were caught abusing the system.

 

 

Instead of using it the DVLA database - which holds personal information of every car owner in the UK - to track down the owners of abandoned vehicles, the Sunday Express has revealed that Town Hall bureaucrats have been caught using it as a means to spy on residents who are suspected of trivial offences that have nothing to do with motoring, such as littering and pet control:

 

An audit of 155 of the 432 local authorities allowed to use the database showed that the DVLA’s system was accessed 750 times a day in the 2009/10 financial year.

 

However, it was discovered that councils were using the system to track down people for a variety of offences including horse fouling, littering and owning out-of-control dogs.

 

The DVLA sent out letters to chief executives of 56 authorities where *serious breaches of the system had been uncovered and the councils received a red coded warning.

 

A further 99 also received warnings about abusing the system and 12 which failed to make the changes requested by the DVLA have been banned *altogether.

 

This sort of prying into people’s personal data is not only in breach of contract but is often illegal. It is yet another example of the ways in which local councils use ‘big brother’ tactics to keep tabs on residents who are either are accused of minor misdemeanours or completely law abiding citizens.

 

This kind of snooping is definitely a trend the government needs to eradicate.

 

By Hannah Dedman

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http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/.a/6a0120a57e35a3970b013486485ea3970c-250wi

 

and don't think council CCTV only used for PCNs

The DVLA database is handy for them for all kinds of uses

http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/home/2010/08/index.html

 

 

 

 

You should become a journalist the article makes no mention of cctv, the VRM could just as easily have been taken by a warden or such like on street. Besides there is nothing to state that the data has not been used for improper purposes...

 

A DVLA spokesman said: “We carry out regular audits of users to ensure they respect the terms and conditions of the contract and user agreements which cover this service. The reasons for suspension range from failure to respond to an audit letter to failure to comply with record keeping or data access requirements.

“In most cases, suspensions were related to mismanagement and record keeping, rather than inappropriate access.”

 

The article is journalism at its worse it has taken the fact that Councils have been reprimanded for poor data control and made up a story its being used illegally to spy on horses poohing in the street, not that I have ever seen a car driven by a horse.

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G&M you neglected completely the first link which showsa CCTV smart car parked behind a wall with its mast extended doing hidden spying.

Not like you to miss a trick.

 

The second link is a good example of how widespread abuse of powers is in Local Authorities.

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