Drivers hit for £3million a day in car park camera fines

Motorists are hit with £3m a DAY in fines from number plate-scanning cameras in car parks, study shows

  • In two years, number of planning applications to install ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) systems in private car parks has risen by 61%
  • More than 10million motorists a year are given fines generated by the cameras 
  • ANPR is increasingly used to control privately operated hospital and supermarket car parks, research by Churchill Car Insurance says 
  • Drivers paid fees adding up to £1.07bn a year; the average fine is £68.90 

Motorists are being hit for nearly £3million a day in parking fines from number plate-scanning cameras, a study shows.

In only two years, the number of planning applications to install ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) systems in private car parks has increased by 61 per cent – triggering a sharp rise in fines.

More than ten million motorists a year are served with fines generated by the cameras which are increasingly used to control privately operated hospital and supermarket car parks, the research by Churchill Car Insurance says.

ANPR devices are controversial because, in some cases, drivers have been fined despite not breaking any rules.

Motorists are being hit for nearly £3m a day in parking fines from number plate-scanning cameras, a study shows. In only two years, the number of planning applications to install ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) systems in private car parks has increased by 61 per cent – triggering a sharp rise in fines

Drivers can be fined if they overstay the time limit or if they use the same car park more than once in a day. But in some cases, penalties have been issued to innocent drivers – including almost two million given out as a result of a faulty camera.

According to the survey of 2,000 motorists, as many as one in eight appeals against ANPR-generated fines are now successful.

Drivers paid fees adding up to £1.07billion a year, with the average cost of a fine standing at £68.90. This is the equivalent of £2.9million in fines issued every day, or £2,035 every minute.

Overstaying the allotted time-slot was the most common reason for getting fined, affecting 3.4million drivers – which is 23 per cent of those who were issued fines.

This was followed by 2.4million (16 per cent) who did not realise they had to pay and 1.7million (12 per cent) who said that they received the fine because of a faulty camera.

In August, the Government announced plans for a crackdown on parking ‘cowboys’ that use aggressive tactics. 

More than ten million motorists a year are served with fines generated by the cameras which are increasingly used to control privately operated hospital and supermarket car parks, the research by Churchill Car Insurance says. (File image)

More than ten million motorists a year are served with fines generated by the cameras which are increasingly used to control privately operated hospital and supermarket car parks, the research by Churchill Car Insurance says. (File image)

The proposed rules aim to tackle predatory firms that use aggressive or pseudo-legal language to intimidate motorists into paying fines. 

They will also force firms to clearly display pricing and the terms and conditions of parking and how to appeal against a charge. 

The initiative proposes a tiered approach to fines with a cap for less serious offences of between £40 and £80 – the current cap is £100.

But drivers who wrongly park in disabled spaces or ambulance bays would face an increased fine of £120. 

The system would be mandatory, unlike existing voluntary ones set by the industry. 

It is being put out for public consultation, which will run until the middle of the month.

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