Clampers to pursue ticket evaders

Car clampers and tow firms will soon be targeting drivers who repeatedly flout parking and traffic regulations and fail to pay their fines.

The new powers have been given to London's boroughs and Transport for London (TfL). For the first time anywhere in the country local councils and the wider authority can clamp or remove any vehicle identified as a persistent evader even if it is legally parked at the time.

Anyone with three or more unpaid fines can be targeted but TfL say that the persistent evaders tracked will have more outstanding PCNs. TfL's top 20 persistent evaders, in total, have 1,712 unpaid parking and traffic fines with the worst offender issued with 174.

The Act requires all outstanding penalty charges to be paid before a parking and traffic authority returns a vehicle to its owner. Safeguards have been included in the Act to protect motorists who may have recently bought a car from a persistent evader.

Four parking and traffic authorities will be trialling them for six months before they are brought in across the capital. These will be Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, and Transport for London.

The Chairman of London Councils' Transport and Environment Committee, Cllr Daniel Moylan, said: "The vast majority of motorists abide by the rules. They will quite rightly not be happy that others have been able to get away without paying a penalty despite continually breaking the rules. These powers send out a clear message that this will no longer be tolerated.

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