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Is there an official definition of 'Parking'? CCTV issues PCN whilst map-reading

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Hope someone can help me!

 

I have just received a PCN from a London Borough for the following alleged contravention '26J - Parked more than 50cm from the kerband not within a designated parking place'

 

Underneath are 2x single images apparently taken from CCTV video evidence - one is timestamped at 14:25 and one at 14:26. They appear to show my car in the middle of the road. The road was not a red route, and the nearest traffic sign is a single yellow line on the nearest kerb (which is around 5' away from my car).

 

On the journey between East and West London, I stopped to locate myself on the map as I was unfamiliar with the route. I may have stopped in this particular location to try and read the name of the side street to work out exactly where I was. There would have been no other traffic around and the road was wide enough at this point for other cars to overtake without encroaching into the roadspace of ongoing traffic.

 

My question is this - what constitutes 'parking'? I simply stopped to try and work out where I was. I didn't get out of the car or draw into the kerb. I was not holding up traffic. It was not a red route where stopping is prohibited.

 

I have tried to find the legal definition of parking (ie leaving the vehicle unattended, staying stationary for x minutes etc) but to no avail.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

Edited by sassy-lassy

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Hi Green and Mean

 

thanks for the reply, but I've just had a quick look at this and can't see a definition in there. If I was 4-5 ft from the kerb, then surely that can't be seen as parking...? And from the stills they've provided, I was stopped for less than a minute - can that possibly be a parking contravention??

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Hi Green and Mean

 

thanks for the reply, but I've just had a quick look at this and can't see a definition in there. If I was 4-5 ft from the kerb, then surely that can't be seen as parking...? And from the stills they've provided, I was stopped for less than a minute - can that possibly be a parking contravention??

 

The case law states waiting and parking are the same thing, you were reading a map and not moving so you are obviously not driving therefore you must be parked.

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Thanks - are you aware of any case law that establishes how long you have to be immobile to constitute waiting or parking?

 

I was stationary for less than a minute.

 

What if my car had simply stalled - would I be liable for a ticket then??

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Out of curiosity, did you have any of your indicator lights on. I know that might sound daft, but if you did, then that would "indicate" (pardon the pun!) that you were not stationary ... Possibly?


Gbarbm

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Thanks - are you aware of any case law that establishes how long you have to be immobile to constitute waiting or parking?

 

I was stationary for less than a minute.

 

What if my car had simply stalled - would I be liable for a ticket then??

 

It hadn't stalled though had it, so thats not really relevant and not really worth time debating.

 

Exemptions are listed below if you think stopping in the middle of the road to read a map is included in any of them appeal, if not pay whilst its at the discount.

 

Prohibition of double parking etc.

 

 

(1)In a special enforcement area a vehicle must not be parked on the carriageway in such a way that no part of the vehicle is within 50 centimetres of the edge of the carriageway.

 

This is subject to the following exceptions.

 

(2)The first exception is where the vehicle is parked wholly within a designated parking place or any other part of the carriageway where parking is specifically authorised.

 

A designated parking place” means a parking place designated by order under section 6, 9, 32(1)(b) or 45 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c. 27).

 

(3)The second exception is where the vehicle is being used for fire brigade, ambulance or police purposes.

 

(4)The third exception is where

 

(a)the vehicle is being used for the purposes of delivering goods to, or collecting goods from, any premises, or is being loaded from or unloaded to any premises,

 

(b)the delivery, collection, loading or unloading cannot reasonably be carried out in relation to those premises without the vehicle being parked as mentioned in subsection (1), and

 

©the vehicle is so parked for no longer than is necessary and for no more than 20 minutes.

 

(5)The fourth exception is where

 

(a)the vehicle is being used in connection with any of the following

 

(i)undertaking any building operation, demolition or excavation,

 

(ii)the collection of waste by a local authority,

 

(iii)removing an obstruction to traffic,

 

(iv)undertaking works in relation to a road, a traffic sign or road lighting, or

 

(v)undertaking works in relation to a sewer or water main or in relation to the supply of gas, electricity, water or communications services,

 

(b)it cannot be so used without being parked as mentioned in subsection (1), and

 

©it is so parked for no longer than is necessary.

 

(6)In this section carriageway has the meaning given by section 329(1) of the Highways Act 1980 (c. 66).

 

(7)References in this section to parking include waiting, but do not include stopping where

 

(a)the driver is prevented from proceeding by circumstances beyond his control or it is necessary for him to stop to avoid an accident, or

 

(b)the vehicle is stopped, for no longer than is necessary, for the purpose of allowing people to board or alight from it.

 

(8)The prohibition in this section is enforceable as if imposed

 

(a)in Greater London, by an order under section 6 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984;

 

(b)elsewhere in England and Wales, by an order under section 1 of that Act

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Looking at the photos, I may have had my hazard warning lights on - it's hard to tell.

 

If I have - I guess I will have to arrange see the video to see for sure - it probably means I must have stalled the car

 

When the PCN arrived, I couldn't even remember the when, or the where, or anything... only that it took place on a route I'd taken from A to B before Christmas!

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Out of curiosity, did you have any of your indicator lights on. I know that might sound daft, but if you did, then that would "indicate" (pardon the pun!) that you were not stationary ... Possibly?

 

The indicators on my car still work if its stationary???

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You were reading the map to check were you where, and then you remembered you may have stalled the car? Unless your car is a bit of a shed I don't think it would take a minute to restart the engine?

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As previously stated, until I see the CCTV pictures, its not clear exactly whereabouts I was - consequently, especially as this all happened several weeks ago, it's not possible to say for certain exactly why I was stopped.

 

I think I had hoped that someone could point me in the direction of legislation that defines what constitutes parking - which at the moment, no one has been able to do.

 

Surely pausing for a period of 48 seconds when there's no traffic around - for whatever reason - is insufficient grounds to merit a £130 fine. This is what I am seeking to challenge.

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As previously stated, until I see the CCTV pictures, its not clear exactly whereabouts I was - consequently, especially as this all happened several weeks ago, it's not possible to say for certain exactly why I was stopped.

 

I think I had hoped that someone could point me in the direction of legislation that defines what constitutes parking - which at the moment, no one has been able to do.

 

Surely pausing for a period of 48 seconds when there's no traffic around - for whatever reason - is insufficient grounds to merit a £130 fine. This is what I am seeking to challenge.

 

Hello there.

 

You may need to bear with us. You haven't been here for very long and not all forum members will have been able to visit since last night. G&M is an experienced forum member and I respect his views, but someone else may come along with a different view.

 

I hope someone will find legislation for you, but in the meantime have you tried googling it? Maybe the Department for Transport website?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi Honey Bee

 

Thanks for your post. Yes I'm a new poster and of course you're absolutely right - I don't expect an immediate answer, especially given the time of my posts (I couldn't sleep last night after getting home and finding the fine in the post...)

 

I have tried Googling and looked at a couple of pieces of legislation, as well as the CCTV Code of Practice for the Borough concerned, but have run into the buffers - mainly because I have been looking for the definition of what constitutes 'parking'. I would have expected to find a definition of this somewhere, rather than having to rely on case law. I certainly don't understand how simply stopping (for whatever reason - until I see the video, it's not clear where the alleged offence actually took place - so I can't say for sure what might have caused it) can constitute a parking offence.

 

Cheers

Sass

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I think I had hoped that someone could point me in the direction of legislation that defines what constitutes parking - which at the moment, no one has been able to do.

 

Surely pausing for a period of 48 seconds when there's no traffic around - for whatever reason - is insufficient grounds to merit a £130 fine. This is what I am seeking to challenge.

 

I have posted the case law that is used by PATAS to determine what is waiting/parking and the statute which clearly states that parking 50cms from the kerb also includes waiting.........what else do you want??? You have stated on here and on pepipoo that you cannot even remember the incident yet state you have been fined for stopping 48secs, how do you know that if a) you don't remember the situation and b) you have not viewed the video? You are just wasting everyones time debating if 48 secs is parking/waiting/driving/stalled etc etc for all you know you were filmed parked for ten minutes. I suggest you go view the video and then come back with the actual details rather than you might have been reading a map, might have been stalled, might have been reading street signs or any of the other excuses you have used here or elsewhere.

  • Haha 1

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It is certainly my intention to view the full video, since without doing so it is impossible to see exactly where I was at the time - hence my vagueness as to what I was doing when the alleged offense took place.

 

The 48 second time period was calculated from the time/date stamps on the images provided. I read somewhere else that the images provided on a PCN need to be sufficient to demonstrate that an offense took place, so I assumed that this was the duration of the period concerned.

 

Finally I am very new to this forum. Whilst appreciating your thoughts and input, I could do without the attitude. Thanks

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It is certainly my intention to view the full video, since without doing so it is impossible to see exactly where I was at the time - hence my vagueness as to what I was doing when the alleged offense took place.

 

The 48 second time period was calculated from the time/date stamps on the images provided. I read somewhere else that the images provided on a PCN need to be sufficient to demonstrate that an offense took place, so I assumed that this was the duration of the period concerned.

 

Finally I am very new to this forum. Whilst appreciating your thoughts and input, I could do without the attitude. Thanks

 

The PCN doesn't actually need photos at all so the advice you read elsewhere is wrong I'm afraid.

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Whilst G&M often is acurate regarding the legislation (somewhat abruptly and harshly sometimes!), I think this thread highlights once again then absurdity and profit orientated approach of councils now especially with the use of CCTV. It now appears to be an offence to get lost in a London borough and/or all drivers should be trained to read road names/intersections at 20mph to ensure, god forbid, that they don't have to bring the car to a total halt to do so!

 

If they were using traffic wardens, not only would the warden have observed that the driver was simply lost and checking their location, they might even have provided some assistance in gettign the driver on her way. Now that would be novel wouldn't it, a council HELPING a motorist :-D

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Whilst G&M often is acurate regarding the legislation (somewhat abruptly and harshly sometimes!), I think this thread highlights once again then absurdity and profit orientated approach of councils now especially with the use of CCTV. It now appears to be an offence to get lost in a London borough and/or all drivers should be trained to read road names/intersections at 20mph to ensure, god forbid, that they don't have to bring the car to a total halt to do so!

 

If they were using traffic wardens, not only would the warden have observed that the driver was simply lost and checking their location, they might even have provided some assistance in gettign the driver on her way. Now that would be novel wouldn't it, a council HELPING a motorist :-D

 

Based on an assumption that the OPs vague recollection of events is accurate of course.

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@ Crem - thank you for your comment. there was no reason for me to have stopped unless I was trying to ascertain where I was, and/or in driving slowly to try and read the street names, get flustered and stall the car. It is ludicrous for the Council to try and classify either of these situations as parking offences.

 

@ G&M - re your comment re accuracy, I doubt that many people can remember every separate inch of every separate journey they make, especially if they only have 2x quite close-up images that don't enable them to establish exactly where their vehicle was at the time

Edited by sassy-lassy

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Of course you are right. Issuing a ticket in the circumstances that you describe is a typical local authority outrage.

 

The good news is that there are numerous things that you can do to put the LA back in their box.

 

First - try not to think about the 'discount' figure. I would put it this way. You have been issued a fine (£120 or whatever) and the LA have offered you a bribe of £60 to just pay up without asking any awkward questions or questioning the validity of their attempt at extortion/blackmail. My attitude is ALWAYS, thanks but no thanks, lets make it £120 and go all the way to PATAS if you'd like.

 

Grean and Mean is very forceful in his/her approach but not entirely correct. PATAS 'case law' is not really case law at all in that it does NOT set a binding precedent. When you take your circumstances to the adjudicator they could find the exact opposite to what went before though clearly the adjudicator may find previous decisions persuasive.

 

I do not believe that there is any definitive definition of 'parking' even in proper case law from the higher courts - at least I've never managed to find any. Legislation does give some clues but they are sometime slightly contradictory. In some circumstances, but not. I believe, yours, it could be possible to resist the allegation of 'leaving the vehicle in a prohibited parking place' by pointing out that you did not leave the vehicle. So unfortunately, you are probably barking up the wrong tree, though an understandable one, with your attempt to use the law to prove the common sense position that you were not parked.

 

In fact, in terms of general highway law, the base position is that you may drive a vehicle on the road and stop for the purposes of traffic hold ups, traffic lights etc and sometimes for setting down or picking up passengers / loading, but not otherwise. In that regard, the LA, MAY be able to make a legally sound (if morally unsound) case for issuing your ticket.

 

Now the good stuff.

 

Statutory guidance tells the LA that they should only use CCTV enforcement where CEO enforcement is dangerous / unpractical. LA's must 'have regard' to this guidance. If you can satisfy the adjudicator that they didn't have regard, you should win. But of course that would be a difficult thing to prove but if at a PATAS hearing (which the LA almost definitely wont attend), if they have not bothered in their evidence to pick up this point and don't make the point that they did have regard - you (should) win.

 

A CCTV camera used for enforcement purposes must be an approved device. In your case it may well be, but if the LA have tripped up with this, they lose. There is a deeper issue around that questions the validity of ALL CCTV approvals as approved devices, but that's probably best left alone for now.

 

There is also an argument that the use of 'unnecessary' CCTV (they should have used a CEO), renders the processing of your DATA unfair for the purposes of the Data Protection Act. This is particularly so if there weren't adequate signs in the immediate vicinity of the camera warning you that your data was being processed, by whom and for what purpose. DPA breaches won't per se invalidate your ticket, but they may make the LA think carefully when considering your representations.

 

On your PCN it MUST say that you may view the CCTV footage at one of the LA's offices of your choosing. If it does not say this, the PCN is invalid. If you request to see the footage at whichever LA office you choose and they insist on you going to some designated viewing suite, they have not complied with the statutory requirements and the PCN is invalid.

 

For all that, the last CCTV PCN that I dispatched into the ether, was ultimately tripped up by the fact that when I requested a copy of the relevant traffic order, demonstrating the correct existence of the allegedly contravened order, I was sent the wrong document. I asked them to send the correct one, before the PATAS hearing and they declined to do so. I won the hearing.

 

This is why you must forget the 'bribe' and dig in. The whole process is unbelievably complex, and in my experience, the LA's are not capable of jumping through all the hoops correctly, if you make sure that you know all the relevant law. (There are probably other legal issues relevant to your PCN, that you can use to good effect). Also, be careful to make the relevant notice periods work to you best advantage and ALWAYS send stuff to them recorded - if they claim not to have something you send and you have the post room signature, they're donald ducked.

 

I have not at this stage given you the references to the relevant law and regulations. If you decide to take them on I will do.

 

FEP

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@ FEP. Thank you for taking the time to post such a comprehensive reply. I will certainly follow up the leads you suggest. In particular, the notice states that the recording 'must take place during normal office hours at [the Town Hall]'. No other addresses are provided, although alternatively they offer to send to my address 'such still images as satisfy us that the contravention occurred'

 

The London Borough concerned operates in accordance with its Code of Practice for the Operation of CCTV Enforcement Cameras, which I am just about to print off and look at, and I see that the Notice itself has been issues under the Traffic Management Act 2004, so I guess I should check this out too.

 

It is tempting to pay the reduced charge, because I am not currently working at present and money is tight. But these sorts of charges are reprehensible, so if I have a good chance of fighting my corner effectively, I am minded to do so.

Sass

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Search online for The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007.

 

The first hit should bring it up from Legislation.co.uk. I'd post the link but I'm apparaently not allowed to!

 

Have a look at Regulation 3, sub-paras (4),(5) and (6). Regulation 10 of the General Regulations relates to PCN's served by post. 10(1)(a) is CCTV tickets.

 

So there you have it - invalid PCN. If you point this out to the LA they will ignore you and you may flag up the fact that you want to view at a council office of your choosing. I reckon you'll have to go to PATAS so again, forget the bribe. (BTW, there is a high chance that in the week or so before the PATAS hearing the LA will announce that they are not contesting the case - they often do that.)

 

Strengthen your position, by very politely asking to view the footage at xyz housing office or whatever (make sure it is definitely a Council office). Don't go into why. When they again tell you that you have to go to the town hall, decline politely and then explain to the adjudicator that you haven't been able to see the evidence at the office of your choosing. They could then adjourn the hearing to let you see the footage but there would still be the issue of the plain invalid PCN and procedural improprieties.

 

As you see, they have to comply with your request regards viewing the footage within a reasonable time, so if it were me, I wouldn't make the request until about two and a half weeks before the PATAS hearing date.

 

FEP

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@ FEP. Thank you again - lots for me to get stuck into now :)

 

I'll keep you posted!

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Update:

 

@ FEP - I have taken your advice and written to the Council (by both email and hard 'signed-for' letter), stating that I wish to view the video at the one-stop office closest to the scene of the alleged offence this Friday (I am not sure whether this gives them enough time to arrange this?).

 

Has anyone has ever successfully managed to repeal a PCN on such grounds? It also strikes me that if procedures are this strict, then the service of the PCN was not undertaken properly either. In breach of the Council's Code of Practice relating to CCTV operation, the Notice arrived second class when the code requires that 'a PCN should be sent by first class post and must not be sent by second class post'.

 

There is also an issue as to where the alleged contravention actually took place, as it is not clear to me from the PCN. This specifies the location as being Bethnal Green Road, between Vallance to Camb Hth Rd. Google maps suggests that this is a distance of around 2,000 ft. After a careful review of Google Streetscape, I am none the wiser - I have no idea whereabouts along this bit of road the camera was located.

 

Re the total length of time for which the vehicle was stopped, the council's CCTV Code of Practice states that 'the authorities should include such still images on the PCN as to show sufficient grounds for the PCN being issued'. The time-stamp on the two images supplied with my PCN suggest a 49 second gap, which I'd have thought was insufficient to demonstrate an offence had taken place, as this is less than a minute - if I had been stationary for more than a minute then the time-stamped images should have been further apart.

 

When I hear back from the Council as to where I can view the video, then I will still have the issue of the alleged offence itself to address, so any further assistance and advice would be appreciated.

 

Many thanks

Edited by sassy-lassy

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There are different levels of procedural contravention.

 

1. Against an absolute requirement of statute. The requirement to tell you on the PCN that you may view the video at a council office of your choice is non negotiable statute.

 

2. Against a requirement of statute that is open to interpretation. The requirement to tell you the grounds of the offence committed (and arguably then the location).

 

3. Against a code of practice orguidance document. Might help persuade a judge or adjudicator, but ultimately compliance is purely voluntary.

 

I believe that you have something in category 1. so you should be OK, but don't expect the council to back down without you doing the PATAS appeal. There then is the heart of the confidence trick - you have to resist the council's bribe to abandon exerting you full legal rights.

 

As regards the length of time stationary. Yes, it would be ridiculous to attempt to fine you for being stationary in your car for a short period. Ridiculous but probably quite legal. Because there is no absolute definition of parking, it would be down to the whim of an adjudicator or Judge as to whether to rule in your favour on that basis.

 

So I don't think we can give you very much help on resisting the substantial alleged parking offence, but you can use the arcane detail to level the playing field.

 

FEP

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